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Latshaw Enterprises gets British owner

By: Michael Lauzon

October 5, 2012

LONDON (Updated Oct. 5, 1:55 p.m. ET) — British investment firm Nova Capital Management Ltd. has entered the North American plastics industry.

London-based Nova Capital has bought all five businesses that made up Latshaw Enterprises Inc. of Wichita, Kan. The businesses’ sales amount to about $60 million per year, and they employ more than 450 in five locations, Nova Cap announced Oct. 1.

“We look for good, solid companies, for example companies divesting non-core assets,” said Nova Cap operating partner Jan Kreminski in a telephone interview.

Two of the businesses are plastics-related. Wescon Plastics LLC of Wichita custom injection molds parts from highly engineered plastics, mainly for the battery and heavy-truck industries. The resins it processes include polyetheretherketone, according to Kreminski.

Coast Wire & Plastic Tech Inc. of Carson, Calif., manufactures custom electronic wire and cable products for the medical, instrumentation and commercial electronics industries.

Other subsidiaries bought include mechanical controls producer Wescon Products Co. of Wichita; MC Electronics Inc., a specialist in assembling custom electronic cables, harnesses and related systems based in Hollister, Calif.; and Anderson & Forrester Inc. a producer of orifices, fittings and gauging tools for the natural gas and propane industries based in Wheat Ridge, Colo.

“We’re trying to have a bigger portfolio in the U.S. and Canada,” Kreminski said. “We will run the businesses on a standalone basis.”

Equity financing for the acquisition was provided by a syndicate comprising Nova Capital and Caledonia Investments plc of London. GSO Capital Partners (part of Blackstone Group) and PNC Bank provided the debt financing.

Some Capital Management businesses have been involved in plastics — Barloworld Scientific Laboratory Group, for example, makes labware and petrie dishes — but they will not be integrated with the recent purchases.

Kreminski did not disclose the purchase price, but a local report pegged it at £26 million ($41.9 million).

Three of Nova’s partners, Kreminski, Tim Leader and Mike Nevin, will join the boards of each business to support management.