Maker of glass expands in Russia

Pilkington Plc, the world’s largest maker of car windshields, started building a glass plant in Russia to fight for market share with Asahi Glass Co.

Ltd., Japan’s top glassmaker, amid a slowdown in markets in America and Europe.

The British company is expanding in China, Russia and elsewhere outside North America and Europe to bolster sales. It plans to compete in Russia with Glaverbel SA, Europe’s second-largest glassmaker, in which Asahi holds a 92 percent stake, Pilkington Chief Executive Stuart Chambers said.

“We are bringing production of high quality glass” to Russia, Stuart told reporters Monday at the site of the future plant near Moscow. “We don’t intend to compete directly with existing producers in Russia.”

Brussels-based Glaverbel holds a stake in Russia’s OAO Borsky Glass Factory and is building a float-glass plant near Moscow, Stuart said. Pilkington’s two other major rivals, Cie. de Saint-Gobain, the world’s biggest glassmaker, and Guardian Industries Corp., a closely held glassmaker based in Auburn Hills, don’t have projects in Russia.

600450 Maker of glass expands in Russia
Date: 14 July 2004

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