By: Mike McNulty
July 16, 2012
MIDDLEFIELD, OHIO (July 16, 11:45 a.m. ET) — Universal Rubber & Polymer Ltd. in Middlefield has acquired Dybrook Products Inc. to bolster its custom rubber product manufacturing operation and expand its customer base.
Universal Rubber is an operating company of private investment firm Cypress Cos. in Akron, Ohio.
The company made the purchase because both manufacturers have similarities and complement one another, creating a strong opportunity for future growth, according to Joe Colebank Jr., president and CEO of Universal Rubber.
The purchase could lead to an expansion next year at Universal Rubber’s facility in Middlefield, where Dybrook’s manufacturing operation eventually will be relocated, he said. Colebank added that the company also is interested in pursuing other potential acquisitions.
“We are taking a very aggressive strategy in growing Universal Rubber,” Colebank said. “This includes acquisitions, as well as internal growth.”
He said the Dybrook transaction has been completed. Financial details were not disclosed.
Dybrook is a Warren, Ohio-based custom molder and extruder of rubber and plastic products founded in 1989. It makes bumpers, gaskets, seals and other offerings using neoprene, nitrile, silicone and natural rubber for the automotive, industrial, commercial, energy and other markets.
Universal Rubber’s established strengths include rubber and plastic extrusion, rubber molding, secondary operations and overseas sourcing.
It produces a wide variety of goods — including gaskets, bumpers, seals, bushings and shock mounts—made from NR, silicone, nitrile, polyurethane, polyisoprene, butyl, neoprene and other elastomers.
Virtually all of Dybrook’s work force of about 42 employees will be offered positions within the combined company, Colebank said.
One former owner, Alan Endicott, will remain with the merged company for the time being while the other, Diane Bumstead, will retire.
Formed in 1970, Universal Rubber currently employs about 55 at its Middlefield facility.
Plans call for Dybrook personnel to continue operating out of its present 60,000-square-foot plant in Warren to ensure a seamless transition for customers.
In the future, he said, the work force and machinery at Dybrook’s plant will be consolidated into Universal Rubber’s more-than 100,000-square-foot Middlefield facility.
The facilities in Middlefield and Warren each feature a variety of rubber and plastic molding, extrusion and secondary service machines.
Colebank said another advantage of the acquisition will be that Universal Rubber will produce more of its products in the United States.
“We really believe in ‘Made in America,’ and we do some business in China,” he said. “Now we’ll bring some of that business back to our plants here.”