Pergo AB and HW Industries GmbH & Co. KG, the main shareholder of Witex AG, have signed a letter of intent concerning a merger between Pergo and Witex. Presently, Pergo owns a minority share of 25.1 percent in Witex, while HW Industries owns all the remaining shares.

Under the terms of the merger, HW Industries will transfer all of its Witex shares to Pergo. As payment, Pergo will issue new shares of HW Industries, whereby HW Industries will become a major shareholder in Pergo. Each company will continue to operate independently in terms of product development and marketing, according to Steve Newman, president and ceo of Witex USA Inc.

"We will now be able to benefit from each other's strengths in both laminate manufacturing and innovati"on," Newman added. "More importantly, we will be able to use these synergies to drive greater profit opportunities for our retail and distribution partners."

The merger is conditional upon the execution of a binding agreement, customary due dilligence, possible anti-trust approvals, and approval by Pergo stockholders at a special shareholder meeting. Both firms expect to have signed a binding agreement by the year's end.