A Message from TenCate Advanced Composites

Now Part of the Toray Family

I am honored to have the opportunity to share TenCate’s “look to the future” with you, as we are now part of the Toray family. In 2015, TenCate Advanced Composites, a part of the 315-year-old Dutch textiles company Royal TenCate, was acquired by a consortium of private equity investors led by Gilde, a leading mid-market private equity firm based in The Netherlands.

From 2015 to 2018, Gilde led TenCate through a period of tremendous growth. Although we’d always been a customer-centric organization, our new owners pushed us to a new level, ensuring everything we did was focused on improving the customer experience. Gilde drove significant investment and alignment within TenCate, allowing us to deliver higher levels of customer support and to invest in the right products for our key markets. We measured and tracked every key metric to improve quality and delivery, and we invested in operational tools and lean principles to better serve our growing customer base. We worked hard to better deliver value in each market segment we serve, and then focused on delivering the right combination of products, technologies, and support to help our customers succeed. We made sure we had the right people in the right roles. And we invested in what matters most—our employees, our customers, and our supplier partners.

During this period, our industry went through a remarkable transformation. The aerospace, general aviation, and space and communications markets each went through periods of incredible growth. In the aerospace sector, the ramp up of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 created opportunities for the entire aerospace ecosystem to evolve further than ever before. In general aviation, we saw the introduction of the Cirrus SF50 personal jet, likely to be the most successful program of its kind, and we saw rapid innovation by startup companies such as Kopter, Boom Technologies, Joby Aviation, and Kittyhawk, each changing the game in their respective product segments.

In launch, we saw further development and maturity, with SpaceX, Rocket Lab, FireFly, and United Launch Alliance each driving innovation in their own unique ways. And in the communication sector, the proliferation of satellite communication technologies to support inflight Wi-Fi created a “market within a market” for composite radomes. Within the consumer and industrial product segments, we saw record levels of adoption of thermoplastics in high performance footwear and consumer electronics, along with the entry of a new class of supercars enabled by the latest generation of advanced composite materials.

In the second half of 2017, our owners made an insightful decision: For TenCate to continue to grow, and for the benefit of our customers, employees, shareholders, and industry partners, we needed a partner. Specifically, we needed to be integrated with a world leader in carbon fiber technology. By combining TenCate’s strengths in thermoplastic and thermoset prepreg technologies with the scale of a major producer of carbon fiber, we would be able to drive growth into emerging, high-volume applications. This was the only way for us to make the leap from being the “smallest of the biggest” among the prepreg suppliers to a dominant supplier that can deliver value at any scale.

With this end game in mind, through an exhaustive process that lasted over 9 months, TenCate Advanced Composites became a part of the Toray Group. We are excited for the future. With Toray’s strength in carbon fiber, thermoset prepreg technologies, thermoplastic resins, and the expertise of a world-class team of technologists, TenCate will be able to support our customers better than ever before. As a combined team, we will be focusing our efforts on delighting our customers, while being even more capable of engaging in new, emerging programs in the aerospace, industrial, consumer, and automotive markets.

TenCate has always had a portfolio of industry-leading resin and prepreg technologies, and now has the global scale to drive these technologies into new segments. Toray, as the largest supplier of carbon fiber in the world, brings vertical integration and scale, along with a commercial channel to drive these products into the right applications at the right price.

So, what can our customers and our supplier partners expect looking forward?

  • We will work even harder on our “customer centric” model.
  • We will bring a portfolio of products to our customers that leverages the strength of TenCate and Toray.
  • We will have more technical and commercial depth to engage and support our customers on new (and current) programs.
  • We will continue to work as partners with our key suppliers of resins and reinforcements to support the programs that are important to us all.
  • And as always, we will be transparent, honest, and will work as partners with our suppliers and customers.

As we have said since our inception—our goal is your success. When you succeed, we succeed.

I consider myself lucky to work in an industry with so many wonderful people who really care about what they do, and who want to make a difference. I am always interested in hearing how we can work more closely together, or differently, to help our industry progress. I look forward to having an opportunity to speak with all of you to share ideas, concerns, and thoughts on how we can better support you for our collective success.

On behalf of the management and employees of TenCate, I thank you all sincerely for the support you have shown over the years and look forward to working even more closely with you in the future, with TenCate Advanced Composites now part of the Toray family.

Steve Mead, Chief Commercial Officer

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