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Austria: Riedel seeking partner for US venture

Austrian drinking glasses manufacturer Riedel Glas GmbH is looking for a partner to help it penetrate the U.S. market by taking part in a EUR 30 million (USD 32.9 million) project for a plant to make …

Austrian drinking glasses manufacturer Riedel Glas GmbH is looking for a partner to help it penetrate the U.S. market by taking part in a EUR 30 million (USD 32.9 million) project for a plant to make drinking glasses in the USA, the company“s director Georg Riedel said on 28 April 2003. The company generates 40% of its current annual turnover in the United States. However, talks with a potential partner, U.S. glassware manufacturer Libby, came to nothing, and now Riedel has focused on an European partner, which would assist it in starting up a U.S.-based plant for the production of machine-made glassware. Riedel is considering only larger glassware makers such as German Schott-Zwiesel and Nachtmann, French Durand, or Italian Calp. Riedel anticipates that its U.S. enterprise will be a 50-50 joint-venture or a partnership in which it would have a majority stake. The company feels that cannot go it alone on the project, since the plant it is seeking to set up would produce 30 million glasses a year, while Riedel“s current annual output is only 7.7 million glasses. Talks are expected to begin within the next five months, Georg Riedel said. Should they turn out positively, the project could be started within 18 months. In 2002, Riedel Glas, based in Kufstein, reported a EUR 87 million (USD 95.4 million) turnover, a rise of 5.0% on an annual basis with the main growth occuring in Japan and in the United States.

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