In the November 2020 edition of BFT International , we reported that MBCC Group has emerged from the former BASF construction chemicals business following its acquisition by Lone Star Funds, and commenced operations as of October 1, 2020.
In an interview with the BFT editorial team, the new CEO, Dr. Jochen Fabritius, outlines his ideas, the group’s goals and the activities planned for the near future.
BFT International: Dr. Fabritius, as civil engineers by profession, we have both been working in the construction and construction materials sector for many years, albeit in different areas and functions. What has led you to take on this new challenge?
Dr. Jochen Fabritius: MBCC Group has vast potential that needs to be leveraged. I was fascinated, above all, by the mixture of a strong industrial core, highly qualified colleagues and the spirit of new beginnings at MBCC Group. As you know, we are one of the world’s leading suppliers of construction chemicals and solutions across different sectors including buildings, infrastructure, civil engineering, new construction and renovation. Our offers make a significant contribution towards solving two of the biggest issues of our time: sustainability and affordability.
BFT International: In your view, what is the position of MBCC Group in the highly fragmented markets of both concrete admixtures and construction systems?
Dr. Jochen Fabritius: The market for concrete admixtures is not highly fragmented. In this sector, we are the global market leader. The market for construction systems is, indeed, fragmented. There is a lot of potential for consolidation in this sector, and we are one of the big players in the market. MBCC Group serves over 30,000 customers and business partners in all parts of the world. Our Group comprises approximately 70 companies worldwide, and we employ a staff of around 7,500. In addition to our position in the market, our strong main brands such as Master Builders Solutions, PCI, Thermotek, Wolman, Colorbiotics, or Watson Bowman Acme are highly appreciated by our customers.
BFT International: What will be the focus of your activities, for example, with regard to innovations or sustainable solutions in the field of concrete chemistry?
Dr. Jochen Fabritius: As you said at the beginning, we are both civil engineers. And that is why you and I probably can’t imagine a world without concrete in the foreseeable future. Concrete is an incredibly versatile, high-quality and, what’s more, inexpensive construction material, which unfortunately comes with a certain CO2 challenge. One focus of our activities will be to continue to optimize this construction material. We are already able to reduce the CO2 burden of concrete by about half compared to the concrete that is typically used today. That does not eveninvolve an increase in the cost of concrete. More than one third of our portfolio already consists of products and solutions which serve the sustainability of the construction industry. This is one issue that we will certainly keep driving forward. We want to make construction more efficient and sustainable, both for our customers and ourselves, and thus solve the problems on construction sites. The construction industry is highly local, which is why customer proximity is at the center of our actions. The key factors for our customers are first-rate service and excellent products – so we provide an obvious added value. As we are currently facing a dramatic increase in raw material prices and a shortage of global transport capacities, we will incorporate these effects into our pricing policy.
BFT International: Are there any initial specific actions or even successes to report since you started your new assignment just over six months ago?
Dr. Jochen Fabritius: We have reorganized our regions, removed one regional layer from the organization, streamlined and added to our top team, and made our first acquisitions.
Hendrik Heising, who previously served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of MBCC Group, has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Dr. Hartwig Grevener, to date CFO at Sonova, will succeed Hendrik Heising as CFO on August 1, 2021.
We have recently acquired two companies, Bluey Technologies Pty Ltd and TPH Bausysteme GmbH. With the acquisition of Bluey Technologies, an Australian company, we are expanding our portfolio of construction chemicals and services for infrastructure projects. The comprehensive product range includes high-performance cements, waterproofing products and solutions for ground improvement used in sensitive applications for transport and civil infrastructure projects. Bluey Technologies was named Australia‘s most innovative company in 2020 by The Australian Financial Review.
TPH Bausysteme, on the other hand, expands the underground construction portfolio of MBCC Group in the field of acrylates and polyurethanes for ground consolidation and waterproofing in underground construction. TPH Bausysteme is based in Germany and is a global supplier of products and systems for injection technology, joint sealing and bonding, concrete renovation, surface protection, and systems for tunnel and underground construction.
BFT International: In your view, what will be your challenges and opportunities once the virus crisis will be over?
Dr. Jochen Fabritius: The topics will remain the same: profitable growth by creating customer benefits and by means of acquisitions. But I see opportunities in increasing digitization as well. This is reflected in our digital offer: with more than 700 BIM (Building Information Modeling) objects, MBCC Group already provides a large BIM portfolio for the construction industry. The objects are available in several global BIM libraries and data bases.
BFT International: Dr. Fabritius, thank you very much for your time. We wish you all the best!
Interview: Silvio Schade,
Editor-in-Chief BFT International