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Engel planning South Korean operation

SCHWERTBERG, AUSTRIA — Injection molding press supplier Engel Vertriebgesellschaft mbH said it may build a machinery plant in South Korea.

Yongap News Agency of Korea reported March 5 that Engel plans to invest $20 million in a plant that will make 800 machines annually in Pyongtaek in the Kyonggi Province. The report, based on information from the Korea Trade Investment Agency, said Engel officials planned to sign a contract March 10 to purchase a plant site.

Engel officials would not confirm the news report. Peter Norman, general manager of the Schwertberg-based firm, said he and other board members were traveling to South Korea the week of March 10 ``for more negotiations, but there is nothing official'' about its plans.

Yongap said Engel will sell about 40 percent of the facility's output in South Korea and the rest to other Asian nations, including China, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Engel recently opened branch offices in Singapore and India and has had a Hong Kong office for more than 10 years. One new customer in the region is Samsonite Corp., which will use Engel presses in joint venture plants in Ningbo, China, and Nasik, India.

Rotonics, Bonar Plastics settle dispute

GARDENA, CALIF. — In an out-of-court settlement, Rotonics Manufacturing Inc. agreed March 3 to pay Bonar Plastics Inc. an undisclosed amount.

In February 1996, Bonar Plastics' parent company, Low & Bonar plc, negotiated to acquire Gardena-based Rotonics. However, two months later, Rotonics broke off the talks, announcing that an unidentified company had expressed interest in purchasing the firm at a price in excess of the $2.34 per share proposed by Bonar. As a result, Low & Bonar filed suit against Rotonics for more than $7 million for penalties, damages and compensation.

The $33 million acquisition deal was then terminated.

In June, Rotonics filed a countersuit seeking damages of $25.2 million for a breach of royalty agreement and other charges.

The actions brought by the companies have been dismissed. Rotonics spokeswoman Dawn Wellmerling would not comment further and Low & Bonar's chief executive officer, Jim Heilig, could not be reached for comment.

Bonar, a Newnan, Ga., rotomolder, had sales of $42 million last year, placing fifth in Plastics News' ranking of North American rotomolders. Rotonics was eighth, with sales of $36 million.

Alpha/Owens Corning targets Mexico

COLLIERVILLE, TENN. — Alpha/Owens Corning, the largest North American producer of polyester resins used in composites, is seeking similar stature in Mexico and South America.

The company announced March 3 it is forming an alliance with two Mexican firms, Mexicana de Resinas SA and Poliformas Plasticas SA. Mexicana de Resinas, with headquarters in Mexico City, is Mexico's second-largest producer of unsaturated polyester resins, and has markets in the Caribbean and Central America. Poliformas Plasticas, which shares management with Mexicana de Resinas, operates distribution centers for fiberglass-reinforced plastics in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Puebla and Merida.

The Mexican firms will continue to operate under their current names, but now are wholly owned subsidiaries of a new holding company, AOC/Mexicana, based in Mexico City.

Fred Norman, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Alpha/Owens Corning, said the new ownership will allow the formerly family-owned Mexican firms to expand.

Alpha/Owens Corning of Collierville is a joint venture between Alpha Corp. of Tennessee, also of Collierville, and Owens Corning of Toledo, Ohio.

Packaging guide covers Latin America

MILLTOWN, N.J. — Packaging Group Inc. has just released a 250-page directory listing thousands of packaging and converting companies throughout Latin America.

``The Guide to Latin American Packaging/Converting Industries'' arranges information alphabetically by country, as well as by material. The vast majority of the entries are plastics-related, said Packaging Group Executive Director Stanley Sacharow.

The print report costs $666, including shipping and handling. The directory, also available on computer disk, can be ordered from the firm at P.O. Box 345, Milltown, N.J. 08850, tel. (908) 636-0885, fax (908) 390-1402.