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Brookdale purchases 10th thermoformer

MINNEAPOLIS — Brookdale Plastics Inc. began operating its 10th thermoformer recently in Minneapolis, the firm announced.

Brookdale will make custom industrial parts such as machine shrouds, point-of-purchase display components, packaging and other products with the Brown thermoformer, a cut-sheet rotary model capable of making parts as large as 4 feet by 6 feet, according to marketing manager Lynn Weiss. It will focus on heavy-gauge thermoforming, she added.

Weiss said Brookdale bought the reconditioned Brown machine, its first rotary thermoformer, as part of an overall expansion that cost more than $115,000. Last fall it boosted plant floor space by nearly 60 percent, to 41,000 square feet. It added 10 employees, to increase staff to 45.

Brookdale's sister company, contract packager Ameristar Packaging Inc., also is expanding capacity, Weiss said. Brookdale makes a range of clamshell, blister and other packaging for Ameristar, based in Plymouth, Minn., near Minneapolis.

Brookdale purchases thick and thin sheet from outside suppliers and uses styrenics, vinyl, glycol-modified PET, conductive materials and other types. The 34-year-old company had sales of $5.5 million last year. Brookdale President Robert Kramer also owns the company.

25-year worker buys container maker M.O.

CLEARWATER, FLA. — M.O. Precision Molders Inc.'s new owner hopes to attract enough general-purpose molding to add a second and possibly third shift at its Clearwater facility.

Barbara Bailey in January bought the 30-year-old firm, founded and owned by Max Oehler, who died a year ago.M.O. Precision continued operating ``as usual'' after Oehler died, according to Bailey.

Bailey, who was general manager and now is president, started at the company over 25 years ago as a machine operator. She bought the firm for undisclosed terms from Oehler's daughter.

The company has nine presses, with clamping forces of 120-500 tons. It custom molds letter tabs, medical parts, household goods and some automotive parts. Its proprietary products include 2-gallon pails and utility box organizers. The company is exploring toys and other markets.

Sales last year were about $800,000. Bailey is targeting $1.3 million in sales this year.

Securities firm rates Spartech 'strong buy'

CHICAGO—First Analysis Securities Corp. of Chicago has initiated coverage of Spartech Corp. with a ``strong buy'' rating.

Spartech has 13 plants in North America and serves the automotive, signage, materials-handling, and food and medical packaging markets.

The Clayton, Mo.-based firm extrudes rigid sheet and rollstock and supplies plastic compounds. With its acquisition of Hamelin Group operations last year, the firm entered the injection molding business.

First Analysis Securities based its rating on ``Spartech's now-dominant position over a large geographic portion of North America in ... custom extruded sheet and rollstock'' as well as its management team and value.

Spartech's sales last year were $391.3 million and are expected to jump to $494 million this year.

Rexam managers buy Asian packaging unit

LONDON — An unprofitable plastics packaging firm in Asia is among the first units sold as part of Rexam plc's restructuring plan.

PT Rexam Mulox of Batam, Indonesia, which makes flexible, woven polypropylene interbulk containers for chemicals, sold for 1.3 million ($2.11 million) in a management buyout.

Bulkpak Pte Ltd., the acquiring firm, plans to change the name of the Asian business. Mulox had assets of 2.5 million ($4.05 million) with sales of 6 million ($9.72 million) and an operating loss of 500,000 ($810,000) in the year ended Dec. 31.

Rexam of London has transfered about 20 businesses to a new unit, Rexam Octagon, for potential sale, and expects to complete divestments by mid-1998.