Marley Pipe Systems: Acquisitions and innovation signal bright future in the pipeline

The sign of a company’s strong health is often indicated by its willingness to go on the acquisition trail. 

So it is fair to consider Marley Pipe Systems to have been in rude health when in May of 2013, news broke that the company had acquired the assets of Petzetakis Africa. 

In a public auction process conducted on the 15th of February 2013, Marley Pipe Systems was successful in acquiring the assets of the former Petzetakis Africa for an amount in excess of R100 million. The acquisition underlined the confidence that parent company Aliaxis Group has in Marley and represented a significant investment into African markets by Aliaxis.

shutterstock_182190575Marley Pipe Systems began as Marley Plumbing in 1963 and currently has customers in South Africa and the rest of the African continent, as well as in the Indian Ocean island nations, Europe and Australia, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of plastic pipe reticulation systems. 

As part of the acquisition of Petzetakis, Marley inherited a number of assets which will strengthen the capabilities of the business, including the land and buildings of the adjacent HDPE and hose sites at Rosslyn, and all productive equipment associated with these sites as well as all the movable assets of the PVC site. 

It was reported that the purchase of the land and equipment will strengthen Marley’s position to better service the infrastructure and building markets by extending their product range and capacity. This includes additional solutions for large diameter storm water and drainage pipe applications with the manufacture of well-known structured-wall pipe, Weholite. The assets further include production equipment to produce the renowned Megaflex Flexible Hose range used in the mining, irrigation and industrial sectors. Marley will now also have increased capabilities to cater for the production of Large Bore HDPE pipes in excess of 1 metre. 

Commenting on Marley’s purchase, Managing Director Louis Abertyn stated: “This will put us in a position to add more value to our customers and business partners by ensuring world class service on a complete quality product offering, including Weholite, Megaflex Flexible Hoses and Large Bore HDPE.” 

Today Marley Pipe Systems is the leading plastic pipe manufacturer and distributor for reticulation systems, serving a number of key market segments including the building, mining and industrial sectors as well as the civils and irrigation sectors throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“We at Marley Pipe Systems are dedicated to serving our clients with quality solutions, expertise, passion and integrity and, as an Aliaxis company; we bring solutions, new technology and expertise on a global level to the local market, providing integrated advanced products to create end-to-end solutions that ensure safe and sustainable operations in a broad spectrum of demanding pipeline applications. Add to this a commitment to providing only the best in technical support, expertise, integrity and service delivery, and you’ve got a true Value Partner in Marley Pipe Systems,” states the company website.

“Today, the Marley Pipe Systems team consists of over 880 people with the manufacture of all pipe and fittings taking place in Nigel and Rosslyn, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, whilst its distribution network encompasses multiple branches and depots around the country as well as offices in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, coupled with an active export division selling into Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and Australia.

“Our diverse product offering, technical capabilities and quality assurance credentials enable us to meet the specific requirements and operating environments that exist in each of the industries we serve,” the site continues. 

Those technical capabilities increasingly see Marley providing a range of back up services for clients, including delivery, on-site support and technical assistance.

The factory in Nigel, Gauteng, covers a floor space of some 20,760 square metres, while the smaller Port Shepstone site in KwaZulu Natal is 4,290 square metres in size. The factories predominately operate polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene extruders and injection moulding equipment. 

“Marley Pipe Systems’ building head office and manufacturing facility is located in Nigel, Gauteng, while the manufacturing of all mining and industrial products takes place at Rosslyn, Gauteng. Our vast distribution network encompasses multiple branches and depots around the country as well as offices in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, coupled with an active export division selling into Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and Australia,” explains the company website. 

shutterstock_139054436Assured quality of course gives clients peace of mind and enhances reputation and at Marley Pipe Systems, that means operating to accredited ISO 9001 Quality Management standards, with many products also attaining SABs quality recognition.

In September 2013, at the Steel Awards, hosted by the South African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC), Marley Pipe Systems was awarded the Stewart & Lloyds Light Steel Frame Construction Commendation for its role as primary supplier of the Marley Equator hot and cold plumbing system for the successful construction of the Saint Helena Worker’s Village. 

The company was also appointed by Rho-Tech as the primary supplier of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes for the Welgedacht Water Care Works project, aimed at improving pipe infrastructure and sewerage systems in the Springs area. 

Rho-Tech General Manager, Mike Schutte, emphasised the importance that Rho-Tech places on partnering with ISO9001 compliant suppliers, “At Rho-Tech, quality is not compromised. A key consideration factor when choosing to partner with Marley was the fact that their HDPE pipes are manufactured to and carry the SABS mark of trusted quality for SANS ISO 4427, which is in keeping with the standards Rho-Tech complies to, with specific reference to pipe extrusion and fabrication”.

Marley manufactured and supplied approximately 600 metres of 900mm PE100 HDPE pipe for the project within the stipulated timelines. The flexibility of Marley HDPE pipes, which facilitate ease of installation, coupled with Rho-Tech’s state-of-the-art McElroy TracStar® 900 fusion machine with a built-in data logging feature that keeps a record of each fusion joint to verify joint integrity, are key factors contributing to the success of the project.

In July 2014, the company was preparing to exhibit at the forthcoming Plumbdrain Africa 2014 event, outlining its plans in a press release:

“As an established leader in the manufacture and supply of product solutions to the building and plumbing sectors, amongst others, Marley Pipe Systems will be exhibiting their comprehensive building range of products, synonymous with consistently superior quality, at Plumbdrain Africa 2014. 

“Marley’s piping solutions include plastic pipe and fittings systems for hot and cold water; soil, waste and vent; uPVC sewer and drainage; rainwater; grease trap management as well as compression fittings and a variety of accessories to fulfil their clients’ varied needs. “Marley is synonymous with quality systems and product innovation and we plan on bringing our A-game again this year to showcase it” says Marley Pipe Systems Marketing Manager, Erna Lovell.

 “Marley also has some exciting product developments up their sleeve for their trusted, quality underground pipes and fittings, applying new designs and product innovations. “Visitors to the Marley stand at Plumbdrain Africa 2014 will be privy to some of these developments as well as being able to view some product demonstrations and really experience the Marley product range. They could also stand the chance to win a MEGAFLEX garden hose along with other prizes to the value of R1,500.00,” explained Lovell.”

Maintaining an industry leading market position is all about innovation and quality and at Marley Pipe Systems new ideas are always in the pipeline.