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Thermoformer Jay upgrades equipment

LYONS, WIS.—Jay Manufacturing Inc. has upgraded equipment in the wake of management changes.

Two computer numerically controlled milling machines and computer-aided design and manufacturing software have enhanced quality and sales in the past year, said President Jeff Jacobsen.

Brothers Dan and Jeff Jacobsen took over the company in 1989 after their father died. Feeling they lacked the knowledge needed to strengthen production and the bottom line, the Jacobsens hired an outsider to run the business. But, they say, the company's financial health declined.

``The best thing was that it reaffirmed that we do know how to run the business,'' Jeff Jacobsen said.

As a result, the brothers took control of the 30-year-old Lyons-based company about a year ago. Jay became profitable once again and has added the machine center to the 17,800-square-foot plant. With 35 employees and five thermoforming machines, Jay makes clear packages for the retail industry from polystyrene, PVC and glycol-modified PET.

``You'll see blisters or clamshells in Radio Shack or WalMart that we've made,'' Jacobsen said.

Jay had thermoforming sales of about $3 million last year and expects that figure to rise to around $3.5 million this year.

Golf shaft company reports lower profit

SAN DIEGO — Graphite golf shaft manufacturer Aldila Inc. said Feb. 5 that lower unit selling prices undercut the return on significant increases in 1996 unit sales.

Aldila earned $5.7 million on 1996 sales of $58.4 million. That compares to profit of $6.3 million on 1995 sales of $56.5 million.

Aldila continues to pursue plans to construct a facility to manufacture carbon fiber, beginning in 1998's first half. The San Diego company started making its own graphite prepreg material in 1994 and now internally supplies most of its material requirements.

``The addition of carbon fiber manufacturing will not only increase our strong position in the golf market but also positions us to pursue other existing and developing markets that consume carbon fiber and/or carbon fiber products,'' Gary T. Barbera, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

Uniflex Inc. acquires Merrick Packaging

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. — Extruder and bag maker Uniflex Inc. has acquired Merrick Packaging Corp.

Terms of the Feb. 5 deal were not disclosed.

Merrick, based in Commack, N.Y., is a privately owned, 30-year-old maker of plastic shopping bags, paper, paper laminate and boxes. This marks Uniflex's entrance into the paper market.

``It gives our existing sales and marketing team additional products to sell as well as additional markets to sell our products in,'' said Robert Semel, Uniflex's president and chief operating officer.

Merrick has 18 employees and had outsourced its low density polyethylene film extrusion with Uniflex's competitors.

``Our goal is to have sales at $100 million in three to five years,'' Semel added. ``This acquisition is part of our overall game plan to grow through acquisition as well as internal growth.''

Merrick had sales of about $3.6 million last year while Hicksville-based Uniflex reported sales of $33 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 1996. Semel expected this year's sales to be greater than $40 million.

Uniflex converts PE film, and designs and manufactures specialty bags used for packaging, retail, and sales and advertising promotions. It also has a line of patented medical products for use in hospitals, medical and dental laboratories and emergency care centers. Uniflex has 350 employees at two plants and 35 extrusion lines.

Brunseick's stock raises $14.3 million

BRUNSWICK, MAINE. — Brunswick Technologies Inc., a maker of knitted reinforced fabrics for the composites industry, held an initial public offering of its stock Feb. 5, raising about $14.3 million in proceeds.

Of that sum, BTI will use about $2.6 million to repay bank debt incurred for the Oct. 30 purchase of Advanced Textiles Inc. of Seguin, Texas, from Burlington Industries Inc. of Greensboro, N.C. The acquisition price was about $8.1 million.

ATI, with about $11 million in sales for 1995, makes lightweight carbon- and aramid-reinforced fabrics targeted at niche markets. BTI specializes in knitted, heavy-weight fiberglass-reinforced fabrics used mainly in marine applications. In 1995, it had sales of about $15.5 million.

ATI will operate in Seguin as a BTI subsidiary. In 1995 it employed 60.

At its 50,000-square-foot plant in Brunswick, BTI operates six high-speed machines for knitting reinforced composite fabrics. It employs about 80.

Polypipe plc to buy Great Britian's TDI

DONCASTER, ENGLAND — Polypipe plc will pay up to 4.26 million ($6.9 million) to acquire TDI (UK) Ltd., a manufacturer of insulated tracks for windows and doors.

Terms of the deal between Polypipe, a publicly traded company based in Doncaster, and TDI of Darley Dale, England, will depend on TDI's profits in the next three years.

In addition, Polypipe will raise 1 million ($1.62 million) by selling 416,667 new common shares for payments, including for the purchase of TDI patents from some of its vendors.

Polypipe makes a variety of plastic door and window profiles, extruded water and drainage pipes, toilet seats, fitments, cladding and garden furniture. The firm reported sales of about 209 million ($338.5 million) and profit of 18.8 million ($30.4 million) in the recently completed fiscal year.

TDI, which is less than 10 years old, had annual sales of roughly 2 million ($3.24 million) and pretax profit of about 500,000 ($810,000) for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31.

The deal allows Polypipe to break into new products and to finance new development at TDI, by expanding its market through Polypipe clients, according to James Corr, Polypipe's finance director.

Briefly

Polycarbonate sheet extruder NIM Plastics Corp. of Wheeling, Ill., has signed Multi-Plastics Inc. of Westerville, Ohio, to be the exclusive distributor of its line of thin film PC products sold under the NIMpact name.

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