Who we are
Low & Bonar has its origins in a 1903 partnership based in Dundee between John Low and George Bonar established for the merchanting of jute goods. The business started its first jute weaving factory in 1912. Over the following decades, the Group expanded into overseas markets, particularly North America and Africa. During the Second World War, the Group diversified its business to include bag manufacture and the manufacture of tufted carpet backing.
Low & Bonar was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. In 1950, the Group made its first acquisition outside the textiles field, acquiring a manufacturer of electrical power transformers.
In the mid 1950s, the business was extended further into plastic packaging, particularly in Canada.
The 1960s saw a move into the extrusion of polypropylene yarn, and in 1971 the Group acquired a business manufacturing "Flotex" carpets (which became the basis for its contract flooring business which was sold in September 2008).
The Group had abandoned its jute and flax spinning and weaving business by the end of the 1970s and bought Bibby & Baron, a UK-based packaging business, in 1976. This was followed by diversification into electrical and mechanical engineering in 1977 and further expansion into packaging, plastics and high performance materials in the mid 1980s, involving European expansion in the late 1980s. A number of other businesses were subsequently purchased to build the Floors Division.
Since that time, the Group has undergone significant restructuring in order to streamline its focus on the more attractive areas of its business. This included the sale of its Packaging Division in 2000 and the sale of its Plastics Division in September 2005.
In September 2008, Low & Bonar continued its transformation through the sale of its Floors Division. The Board is confident that the disposal of the Floors Division will help it to meet its long-term strategic objective of creating a leading global performance materials business.
Low & Bonar has leading market positions in most segments
||A leading European supplier of geotextile and geosynthetic products|
||Attractive niche European positions in commercial buildings with non-wovens, polymeric mats, and coated fabrics for architectural awnings|
|Carpet tile manufacture
||A leading European and US supplier of non-woven carpet backings |
A leading Chinese woven backing supplier
|Sport & leisure
||A leading global supplier of artificial grass yarns and technical coated fabrics including for boat, pool, and sunshading|
||A leading position in coated fabrics for truck sides and also non-wovens for automotive carpets|
|Industrial and others
||A leading position in a number of niche markets including print media, greenhouse screens, composites, and storage|