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Arrk Hungary sold back to management

By: Richard Higgs

July 20, 2012

TISZAUJVAROS, HUNGARY (July 20, 1:15 p.m. ET) — A Hungarian automotive plastic parts offshoot of Japan’s Arrk Corp. Arrk Hungary, has been acquired in a management buyout and renamed Tisza Automotive.

The technical products injection and blow molder, based in Tiszaujvaros, northeast of Budapest, was bought earlier this year by a partnership of the management backed by a Hungarian investment group.

Tisza Automotive, which operates on a site close to its former parent, the Hungarian chemical giant TVK (Tiszai Vegyi Kombinát), will continue operating as a manufacturer of technical plastic products. But it stressed in a statement that its production of automotive parts will remain “the top priority.”

“The involved parties continuously ensured the conditions for the trouble-free operation of the company during the whole selling process,” stated the Hungarian firm on its website.

The company operates 11 injection machines ranging from 80 to 650 metric tons and five blow molding machines. Today, apart from producing automotive parts, it turns out technical moldings for the electronics, telecoms and chemical sectors.

This disposal by Osaka, Japan-based rapid product development specialist Arrk Corp. is part of its earlier announced restructuring program, including the gradual sell-off of non-core interests and other subsidiaries.

The Hungarian processor has a varied history with ownership passing intermittently between large groups and investor/management partnerships.

Created back in 1976, the Hungarian firm originally focused on manufacturing rigid packaging, primarily for the food and chemical markets. In 1992, responding to the car maker Suzuki’s call for Hungarian suppliers to serve its newly built Hungarian plant, the molder’s then owner TVK re equipped the plant to turn out technical moldings. That enabled it to produce blow molded vehicle air ducts and tanks.

By 1996, TVK had separated its plastic processing operations from its main petrochemicals core and the Formplast business was formed. Further developments saw the firm diversifying its portfolio to mold roller skates and parts for ski boots.

From 2000, TVK renamed the molding business Tisza-Form which was still predominantly a packaging molder and prepared to dispose of it. A year later, the firm was acquired by a partnership of its management (30 percent) with Hungarian financial investors (70 percent) and was reorganized to focus on technical and auto parts, so cutting losses.

In 2003, Arrk Corp.’s subsidiary Arrk Product Development Group based in the UK, bought out the investors’ 70 percent share with the local management holding on to its 30 percent stake. This followed the molder’s success in attracting significant new auto parts business.

Following the global recession of 2008-09, Arrk Hungary was forced to diversify in its effort to respond to the European automotive downturn and in 2010 began injection and blow molding components for industrial cleaning machines.