Uponor celebrated its 100-year anniversary throughout 2018.
In January, Uponor Inc., part of Building Solutions – North America, completed its tenth €16.3 million ($17.4 million) manufacturing expansion in Apple Valley.
During the same month, Phyn, Uponor’s joint venture with Belkin International, Inc., launched its first product Phyn Plus, a smart water monitoring system, at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Florida and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The product received two awards at these shows. Phyn Plus became available to customers in the USA in Q2 and will be launched in Europe in spring 2019.
In February, Uponor invested an additional $10 million in Phyn, bringing its cumulative investment to €21.6 million ($25 million). With this second round of funding, Uponor established 50 percent ownership in Phyn, the other 50 percent being owned by Belkin.
In the second quarter, Uponor Inc., part of Building Solutions – North America, opened a second manufacturing facility in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and began producing PEX pipe slightly ahead of the planned schedule.
On 29 August, the Finnish Tax Administration gave its decision concerning Uponor Business Solutions Oy’s tax case. As a result, taxes, surtaxes and delay interests, recorded by Uponor in 2011, in total approximately €11.4 million as well as statutory interests was paid back to the company.
On 31 August, Uponor announced that Uponor Infra and Wynnchurch Capital, an American private equity firm, have signed a business purchase agreement for Uponor Infra’s North American business. The debt and cash free purchase price was CAD 62.5 million (approximately €41 million).
On 5 September, Uponor and Swegon Group AB signed a share purchase agreement for the sale of all outstanding shares in Zent-Frenger GmbH. The debt and cash free purchase price was €16 million. The acquisition was completed at the end of October 2018.
In September, Uponor Infra Oy and Infra Pipe Solutions Ltd signed a Weholite Licensing Agreement for the continuous future manufacture of Weholite pipes and products for the North American market. In addition to Uponor Infra’s own production of Weholite, there are licensees in the UK, Iceland, Oman, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Brazil, France, Turkey, Tanzania and now also in Canada.
On 13 December, Uponor announced that in alignment with its strategy to focus on profitable growth in core businesses throughout Europe and North America, the company has decided to cease operations in Asia during 2019. This includes operations in China, as well as sales offices in South Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
On 19 December, the Board of Directors of Uponor Corporation resolved to continue the key management Performance Share Plan mechanism, originally decided on by the Board in 2014. Approximately 50 Group key managers, including the members of the Executive Committee, belong to the target group covered by the new plan. The new plan covers the calendar years 2019–2021, 2020–2022 and 2021–2023. The potential reward based on the 2019–2021 plan will be paid in 2022. The purpose of the plan is to continue aligning the objectives of the management and Uponor shareholders in order to increase the value of the company, boost profitable growth and retain key managers.