Small and large disasters strike every day, everywhere in the world, bringing routine processes to a screeching halt. Fires break out, storms rage, natural forces leave a trail of devastation. In situations like these, professional and reliable assistance is needed, someone who helps put things back on track. BELFOR assists its clients with professional disaster recovery and restoration services – around the clock, around the globe. 

The Haniel Umweltschutz (Environmental Services) Division starts its first activities in the field of fire damage restoration and preventive fire protection through acquisitions in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Italy.

The group of restoration companies is extended with the acquisition of COUTELLAS S.A. in France. 

Haniel Umweltschutz is split into two new Divisions: Haniel Industrie-Service and Haniel Envirotec. Haniel Industrie-Service provides services such as pipe and sewer cleaning, special transports, plant maintenance and transport safety. Haniel Envirotec’s activities include machine and plant overhauls, electronics restoration, preventive fire protection and asbestos removal. 

Drying services are added to the range of activities. The two Divisions, which were split four years ago, are reunited under the name of Haniel EnviroService. In the meantime, the fire and water restoration damages were expanded to UK. 

All Haniel EnviroService companies offering fire and water damage repair services operate under the BELFOR umbrella brand. 

BELFOR enters the US market and becomes a world-leading disaster recovery and restoration company by the acquisition of shares of Enterprise International and DRS in the USA.. 

BELFOR acquires a leading European competitor (Relectronic-Remech) and enters the Asian market. BELFOR gains technical expertise and becomes the market leader. At the same time, Haniel EnviroService sells its pipe and sewer services and industrial services. At the end of the year, the Division is renamed BELFOR International, whose core business is the restoration of fire and water damage.

BELFOR USA acquires Bridgeway Construction, a major player in insurance restoration in the United States.

BELFOR (Netherland) acquires Bonnet in Weesp, in order to enhance existing restoration services in the Netherlands.

The BELFOR-Group now employs 1.800 employees in 100 locations in 21 countries. 

Within a period of two years, BELFOR has become the market leader in the United States for the repair of fire, water and storm damage. Since entering the market in 1999, BELFOR USA has already acquired a number of medium-sized damage repair firms. Now, with the takeover of the existing US-market leader INRECON LLC in July 2001, BELFOR has accomplished a major coup. INRECON – the name stands for INsurance RECONstruction – has annual sales of some US $180 million in the year 2000 and employs 1,000 staff. Another acquisition is completed in United States: RCCS, Kansas City. 

The BELFOR Group welcomes a new member, S-K Contracting, Inc., a leading provider of restoration and reconstruction services in North America. This company has earned an outstanding reputation for quality and performance amongst its customers. The acquisition of Mark of Excellence Inc. Tampa/Florida by BELFOR USA rounds up the market presence in the US. 

BELFOR opens new branch offices in Germany, Austria and expands its East European business to Poland and Czech Republic. The Asian market appearance is strengthened by a new operation in Japan while the Canadian operations acquire two competitors (Babayan’s Construction Ltd., Toronto and CR Associates, Ottawa) in the Northern part of Canada. 

BELFOR Belgium acquires the restoration company Amiral Clean, which is focussed on the restoration of fire and water damages in the residential area. With this, BELFOR further develops its capacities in this service field throughout Belgium.

The Haniel Group sells 75 % of the BELFOR-shares to the newly established BELFOR Holdings Inc., whose headquarters are in Delaware, USA and which is headed by the current top management of the BELFOR Group. This means the present managing directors of the holding company, the managing directors of the European and, in particular, of the North American country operations as well as other top managers are the new shareholders of BELFOR. The BELFOR Group is now jointly headed by Bernd Elsner and Sheldon Yellen. Elsner is responsible for the European and Asian operations and Yellen continues to run the United States and Canadian operations.


BELFOR Holdings Inc. acquires DUCTZ International, LLC, a professional air duct cleaning and HVAC (heating/ventilating/air conditioning) restoration subsidiary of Ann Arbor, Michigan, based Service Brands International. With current locations in 22 states, DUCTZ can now grow in tandem with BELFOR to increase its independent client base, as well as service BELFOR clients with HVAC restoration services.

Ahead of schedule, BELFOR Holdings Inc. takes over the remaining 25 % of the shares from Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH. The company is now owned 100 % by the top management. 

BELFOR strengthens its market position in Asia by founding a company in Shanghai, China: BELFOR Recovery Services (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

BELFOR enters the Slovakian market by founding BELFOR Slovakia spol. sro in Bratislava, Slovakia and the Eastern European market presence now includes Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

BELFOR USA is pleased to announce that the Alexander Wall Corporation (AWC) from Long Island, NY has come on-board as the newest member of the BELFOR team -- to better serve the Greater Manhattan metropolitan area. AWC has been providing excellent service to the region for nearly fifty years. As BELFOR New York, they will maintain a full service operation, performing everything from structural drying to custom reconstruction 

BELFOR USA acquires Hawaii Restorative Services of Honolulu, enabling it to respond quickly to losses occurring in Samoa and the other Pacific islands. 

In the wake of the dreadful earthquake in Chile, BELFOR USA establishes BELFOR Chile SA to serve as an immediate, local point of contact for the ensuing extensive restoration projects.

BELFOR is now the international leader in the fire, water and storm damage restoration sector. It employs around 4,600 people in more than 230 offices spanning almost 30 countries.