RAVEN BUYS TANK MAKER NORCORE PLASTICS

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Raven Industries Inc. expanded into dual-laminate storage tanks with the Jan. 9 acquisition of Norcore Plastics Inc. of Tacoma, Wash.

Norcore makes fiberglass-reinforced tanks with liners based on fluoropolymer and other films to provide extra corrosion resistance and purity. Raven said Norcore is profitable and has annual sales of $8 million to $9 million. It paid ``slightly more than $3 million'' for the private company, with a third of the payment being cash and the rest in stock.

In a news release Raven officials said the deal will give the firm the most complete tank product line in the industry.

Lon Olson, Raven's plastics division's general manager, said Norcore will open up new markets for his firm. The deal will help Raven pursue new opportunities in semiconductor, mining, pulp and paper and high-purity water applications, Olson said in a telephone interview from Raven's Sioux Falls, S.D., headquarters. The purchase also gives Raven a West Coast facility, which the firm has wanted for some time.

Olson said his company initially will keep the dual-laminate technology at Tacoma but it will introduce it at other Raven plants if sales volumes warrant the investment.

Raven makes FRP tanks in Sioux Falls and in Albertville, Ala. It rotationally molds thermoplastic tanks in Sioux Falls, Albertville, and in Washington Court House, Ohio.

The company also makes plastic film in Sioux Falls and in Springfield, Ohio.

Gary Glein, Norcore's former chief executive officer, will manage the Tacoma operation, which will retain the Norcore name. Glein said in a telephone interview that his operation uses fluoropolymers, polypropylene and PVC as its main liner materials. It exports up to 30 percent of production to Pacific Rim countries and South America.

Glein bought the company in 1979 about 13 years after it was established.

``Raven is a good company and the combination will be quite interesting,'' Glein said.