The Flakk Group became the largest owner of the publicly listed Norwegian Applied Technology ASA for which Comrod's business operation (composite antennas) was a major part. The Flakk Group was already the principal owner of Devold AMT AS, a world leader in multiaxial glass and carbon fibre reinforcements and therefore saw the opportunities for growth in the composite industry.
Norwegian Applied Technology ASA was merged with Devold AMT AS. Unprofitable business activities were discontinued and a new board was elected. Establishment of new administration, head office moved from Stavanger to Ålesund and the Group changed its name to Hexagon Composites ASA. The aim was to achieve a listed group which had the strength to make further acquisitions of industrial companies with composites expertise and global potential within niche markets.
The Group acquired Ragasco AS a leading player within the development and production of composite LPG cylinders.
The Group acquired Raufoss Fuel Systems which produces high pressure cylinders for gas-powered buses with a market focus in Europe. The business area was acquired by Raufoss ASA.
Lincoln Composites Inc., located in Nebraska USA, was acquired from General Dynamics. This company operates in the same business area as Raufoss Fuel Systems, with its main focus on the American and Asian markets.
Comrod acquired Eltek Defence from Eltek ASA. Comrod later acquired the French company Lerc S.A. Devold AMT established two new production companies, UAB AMT Baltija in Lithuania and the joint venture company PPG-Devold LLC in the US to exploit the growth expected in Devold AMT AS' most important market segment, the wind power industry.
The business area for composite antennas is demerged and listed separately as Comrod Communication ASA.
Hexagon Composites acquired Composite Scandinavia, a Swedish company that develops and produces composite LPG cylinders.
Remaining production of composite reinforcements at Langevåg is relocated to the company's factory in Lithuania. The product area CNG passenger cars was demerged from Ragasco and merged with Hexagon Raufoss. Streamlining of LPG cylinders will give increased focus and effectiveness. Production of LPG cylinders at Composite Scandinavia in Sweden is discontinued.
Hexagon Composites is carrying out a re-branding of the entire Group and implementing a uniform profile that will strengthen both the subsidiaries and Group through increased visibility, recognition and knowledge. The production equipment from Composite Scandinavia is moved to Russia for the production of LPG cylinders in a JV that has been established with a partner in Russia (Autocomponent).
Hexagon Devold was sold to Saertex GmbH & Co. KG so the Group could focus on further development of the pressure cylinder business. A capacity expansion program in Nebraska, USA commenced during the year. The company acquired MasterWorks in Maryland, USA, securing key technology and enhanced engineering capacity.
Hexagon Raufoss restructured its operating model to achieve profitable operations. The company was operationally integrated with Hexagon Ragasco to take advantage of synergies between the two entities. Other initiatives on optimizing cost base were enacted to drive profitability in the challenging operating climate caused by uncertainty in the market following significant oil price volatility.
Mitsui & Co., Ltd. acquired 25% and a strategic cooperation agreement was entered into. The CNG Automotive Products Division was merged with Agility Fuel Systems,to create Agility Fuel Solutions (50/50 owned). xperion Energy & Environment in Germany, one of the leading Type4 cylinder manufacturers, was acquired.