Eschler merges with Schoeller Textil
5th June 2012, Bühler & Sevelen, Switzerland
Two of the strongest and most innovative textile and technology companies in the stretch knits and wovens sectors are joining forces. Swiss companies Schoeller Textil AG from Sevelen (St. Gallen) and the Eschler Group from Bühler (Appenzell Ausserrhoden) are to unite under the banner of Swiss quality, global presence and wide ranging know-how.
The companies said in a statement today that the cooperation of the two traditional Swiss companies under the management of Schoeller Textil AG will make it possible to place the product range on an even broader footing in the market. The synergy of woven and knitted fabrics will be exploited to create a range that is thought to be the only one of its kind in the textile sector.
The range of innovative Schoeller textiles and technologies will be complemented by high quality and highly functional Eschler knitted fabrics in order to meet the future requirements of joint customers even more precisely, more individually and more creatively.
Franz Albers, President of the Board of Administration of Schoeller Textil AG, comments:
“I am particularly pleased about this collaboration. It is the coming together of two companies, each of which is among the world-wide market leaders in its own segment and ideally complements one another.”
Hansjörg Rettenmund, President of the Board of Administration of the Eschler group, expresses similar delight.
“This cooperation of two strong partners at this particular point in time is a far-sighted business move which will secure the future and which represents a logical consequence in terms of market positioning,” says Rettenmund.
Eschler and Schoeller have in fact been cooperating in production for many years. Peter Eschler says of the partnership:
“Another common feature of Eschler and Schoeller is that both these traditional companies are in family ownership and foster comparable values and cultures. The Eschler family is proud to be represented in this merger, both at the operative level and as shareholders.”
In November 2011, Eschler announced that an innovation centre was to be built in Bühler in the course of restructuring measures. This plan will now be implemented in Schoeller’s research and development department in Sevelen and in the Schoeller laboratory for chemical analysis and microbiological studies in Gams.
“The power of this concentrated expertise opens up entirely new dimensions for further exciting developments,” declares Hans-Jürgen Hübner, Administration Board Member of Schoeller Textil AG.
All from one source
Schoeller Textil AG will take over Eschler Textil GmbH in Balingen, Germany and the sales organization for commercial and professional sportswear which will remain in Bühler employing 45 people.
Former Managing Director, Matthias Eschler, will remain in charge of the plant in Germany and will further expand the Technical Textiles segment. In addition to technical textiles, the production plant in Balingen will also manufacture the high-tech knit fabrics for commercial and professional sportswear for Schoeller.
Within the new association with Schoeller, the well-known Eschler brand will retain its independence.
Schoeller will soon be commissioning a new and highly modern automated washing system for stretch woven and knits at the Sevelen site. This will give maximum consideration to the highest environmental standards and economical use of resources. Production will continue to comply with bluesign – the stringent ecological standard for textiles.
Interesting future perspectives
Siegfried Winkelbeiner, CEO Schoeller Textil AG, views this merger as an investment in a joint future.
“We are convinced that there will always be a global market for premium Swiss textile products. With the combined innovative power of these two companies, entirely new perspectives are opening up for the cooperation with our joint customers.”
Schoeller Textil AG specializes in the development and manufacturing of functional fabrics and smart textile technologies for the areas of active sports, workwear and lifestyle.
The company has been in family ownership since 1868 and in order to secure its long-term future, Schoeller invests heavily in innovation and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Swiss Technology Award for its iLoad technology in November 2011.
Through the acquisition of a laboratory with high-quality research and analysis equipment in September 2011 Schoeller continues to expand its research and development and is setting out on completely new paths with the establishment of Schoeller Medical AG. The company says the expansion into the area of knits ‘rounds off the range in a unique way’.
The Eschler Group which has its headquarters in Bühler in the Ausserrhodisch region has been dedicated to knitted fabrics for 85 years. The traditional family company which currently operates two production sites is among the world’s leading manufacturers of functional knitted textiles for sport, workwear, technical textiles and lingerie.
Eschler is famous around the world for its ‘aerodynamic’ fabrics for high-performance Alpine sports but the company has also always made a name for itself with pioneering work in the areas of embroidery fabrics, clothing physiology (sweat management) and textile functionality.
Author: Billy Hunter