Georgia manufacturing has a long history in textiles, carpeting and other kinds of flooring. The $420 million purchase of a German-based company may not add production here, but it gives Atlanta-based Interface greater global heft. (AJC file photo)

Atlanta-based Interface in $420 million purchase of German company

Atlanta-based Interface has made a $420 million deal to buy a German company that is a leader in the global flooring market.

Interface is acquiring Nora Systems, a move that the company said should dramatically expand its market reach to new categories.

The two companies are more “complementary” than competitive, said Jay Gould, the chief executive of Interface, in a statement.

“The acquisition is expected to accelerate our growth strategy by expanding our product portfolio and extending our reach in the performance flooring category of resilient flooring,” he said. “Customers want a single flooring solution provider that can deliver a range of options.”

The acquisition will increase the Interface presence in segments such as healthcare, life sciences, education and transportation – which are growing faster than the rest of the flooring market, according to Interface.

Interface has about 3,100 employees, including 1,350 in Georgia.

The company’s highest volume manufacturing facilities are in LaGrange and West Point, according to a company spokeswoman.

All of Nora’s manufacturing is done in Germany.

Officials did not rule out some job cuts, but said that finding efficiencies and looking for costs to cut are not the reasons for the acquisition. “The intent is to bring together two flooring leaders in adjacent categories,” the spokeswoman said. “We do not have to find large costs reductions to make the finances of the deal work.”

Officials of the 45-year-old company told analysts that the deal will add to its profit margins.

Last year, Interface reported revenue of $996.4 million and net income of $53.2 million.

Nora Systems, which has annual revenues of about $280 million, is the market leader in rubber flooring, a $1 billion-a-year category, officials said.

The company has business in about 80 countries.

The companies expect to close the deal in this year’s third quarter.

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