Global surgical and protective glove manufacturer Ansell has moved to shore up its supply chain with the purchase of 50 per cent of Malaysian latex glove manufacturer, Careplus Group for $13.4 million.
The joint venture essentially adds the current Ansell supplier of nitrile powder-free examination gloves with annual sales of $56 million and a factory in the Senawang Industrial Estate near Kuala lumpur to its in-house capabilities.
The company characterised the purchase as adding to its production capacity to meet increasing surgical glove sales.
Ansell’s healthcare global business unit head Darryl Nazareth said: “We continue to see excellent growth in our surgical business and this investment, together with the additional capital investments we are making in our wholly owned manufacturing facilities, delivers the capacity we need to continue to grow.”
However the move will also counter some of the difficulties Ansell has been experiencing with independent glove suppliers in its supply chain.
In October the United States Customs and Border Protection Department blocked imports of Ansell gloves made by supplier WRP Asia Pacific over concerns in the use forced labour to make their gloves.
A year earlier @AuManufacturing reported that Ansell had imposed self-assessments and audits on its suppliers.
That followed controversy in the UK over allegations of forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation at suppliers Top Glove and WRP.
Bringing Careplus into the Ansell fold will enable the company to better control its supply chain.
New Australian anti-slavery laws also came into effect on January 1.
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