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Menasha combines Solidur into Poly Hi

FORT WAYNE, IND. — Poly Hi Solidur Inc. and Solidur Deutschland GmbH have merged under the Poly Hi banner.

Poly Hi parent Menasha Corp. of Neenah, Wis., now owns 80 percent of the consolidated company; Gunther Pennekamp, former owner of Solidur Deutschland of Vreden, Germany, owns 20 percent.

Terms were undisclosed.

Separately, Poly Hi of Fort Wayne also acquired the remaining shares of Solidur Pacific Co. in Portland, Ore.

All three companies compression mold sheet and extrude rod and profiles from ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene, and formerly were part of Solidur Deutschland, which Pennekamp founded, said Poly Hi spokeswoman Karen Bixler. Poly Hi is Solidur's former U.S. operation, which Menasha bought from Pennekamp in 1993.

``Basically what this does is complete a worldwide consolidation of these groups, with Pennekamp still on the board of directors,'' she said.

Though UHMWPE is Poly Hi's flagship product, the Fort Wayne firm also processes polypropylene and specialty plastics, such as polyvinylidene fluoride.

Poly Hi employs more than 1,000 worldwide. Bixler would not disclose sales.

Rymac Mortgage acquires Navistar

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Rymac Mortgage Investment Corp. has finalized its acquisition of Navistar International Transportation Corp.'s Columbus plastics operation for a $25.5 million note and 4.26 shares of common stock.

Related to the purchase, Rymac liquified its assets and channeled the cash into a new company, Core Materials Corp., formed strictly as an acquisition vehicle, said Richard Conte, chief executive officer. The 420-person Columbus outfit, which compression molds parts from sheet molding compound, is Core Material's only holding.

Each share of Rymac stock was converted into one share of Core Materials stock, making Navistar a 45 percent owner of Core Materials. Both firms are publicly traded. As part of the deal, Core will continue to supply all of Navistar's SMC part needs for five years, Conte said.

Although Navistar is Core Material's largest customer, watercraft components — hauls, decks and engine covers — for Yamaha Motor Corp. make up 30-35 percent of its business. It also makes parts for General Motors Corp.'s electric prototype car.

Core Materials reported that the plastics unit's pro forma 1996 sales were $56.8 million, a 13 percent drop from its pro forma sales of $65.6 million in 1995. That dip was the result of fewer orders from Navistar and Yamaha, both of which experienced declines in their respective industries, the company said.

Bag maker Uniflex gains British marketer

HICKSVILLE, N.Y.—A British firm will market converter Uniflex Inc.'s customized specialty plastic bags in Europe.

Uniflex's Speci-Gard specimen transport bag is the lead product KCG Management Ltd. will represent from its offices in Chester, England, according to Robert Semel, Uniflex president and chief executive officer. The bag is made with low density polyethylene film, with no-slip characteristics, and features the firm's press-and-close, liquid-tight closure.

``We hope to be selling this to laboratories, hospitals and nursing homes in England,'' Semel said recently by telephone from Hicksville. ``We're going to start with England. The object is to take it throughout the rest of the international market.''

Southwall wxpands with Ariz. facility

PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Later this year, Southwall Technologies Inc. will be manufacturing anti-reflective thin PET films at a new, 55,000-square-foot leased plant in Tempe, Ariz.

Southwall, based in Palo Alto, is spending $15 million to equip the Tempe plant with two wide-web magnetron sputtering machines, plus wet-coating, laminating and other equipment used in making the anti-reflective PET films, said Len Garigliano, vice president and general manager for the Tempe operation. Southwall broke ground in December and expects the equipment to be installed by July, he said. The plant will employ about 40.

The new plant will supply Sony Corp., whose manufacturing facilities in San Diego and the Far East laminate the film onto cathode ray tubes used mostly in 17-inch computer monitors—a growing market, Garigliano said.

At Palo Alto, Southwall has four of the sputtering, or vacuum deposition, machines, which coat the film with several different kinds of metal to make it anti-reflective. Southwall's other coated products include its trademarked Heat Mirror suspended PET films.