By: By: Frank Esposito
January 7, 2013
M. Holland Co. has purchased Christler Chemical & Plastics Inc., a distributor of engineering and commodity thermoplastic resins based in Wilsonville, Ore.
The acquisition is the first for resin distributor M. Holland, which has been in business more than 60 years.
“The cultural fit is perfect,” Holland owner Ed Holland said in a phone interview. Christler “has an outstanding reputation for focusing on the customer and the supplier,” he added.
“It’s truly the reconfirmation to the industry, our suppliers, our customers and our employees, of our continuing commitment to the classic distribution model,” said Marc Fern, M. Holland’s vice president of sales and marketing.
The acquisition gives Northbrook, Ill.-based M. Holland a presence in the Pacific Northwest and access to new customers, he said.
Ed Holland said his firm “had tried to penetrate” the Pacific Northwest, but in that region, Christler was local, “and they were the best.”
Christler was founded in 1987 by distribution industry veteran Tony Christler. Prior to the Holland deal, Christler had been co-owned by Tony Christler and his wife, Monica.
“The decision to sell after 25 years was motivated by the opportunity to put these two companies together,” Monica Christler said in a phone interview. “We share core values.”
Christler generates most of its sales from engineering resins such as polycarbonate. Major end markets served by Christler include aerospace, medical, industrial and defense.
The firm’s sales have grown at double-digit rates in each of the last three years, according to Monica Christler.
M. Holland put together a mergers and acquisitions team about two years ago to look for potential targets within and outside of the United States. Fern would not disclose details of the sale, which closed Dec. 31
The two firms had some mutual customers, but were not major direct competitors, officials said. Their main shared supplier was Bayer MaterialScience LLC.
M. Holland plans to retain key Christler personnel, in part because of the company’s reputation and name recognition in the Pacific Northwest, Fern said. M. Holland has not made any firm plans about Christler’s operations, he added. Christler uses public warehousing and doesn’t own its own facilities.
The purchase supports M. Holland’s ongoing growth plans. “The major growth strategy of the M. Holland Co. will be a combination of domestic growth through adding grass-roots sales people and through looking for both domestic and international acquisitions,” Ed Holland said.