Techmer buys out joint venture partner

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 27, 2013 1:50 pm ET
Updated: February 27, 2013 1:59 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Mergers & Acquisitions, Materials Suppliers

CLINTON, TENN. -- Change has been on the agenda at materials firm Techmer PM. Since mid-2012, the company has reorganized its senior management, bought out a joint venture partner and opened a new machine shop at its plant in Tennessee.

The management change occurred when Techmer founder John Manuck took on the titles of chairman and CEO. That allowed his stepson Ryan Howley to become president of the Clinton, Tenn.-based firm. Howley had been with Techmer since 1999, most recently serving as vice president of strategic growth.

In a recent phone interview, Howley said the move "is part of our eventual succession planning," and that he's looking forward to the challenge of having a larger role in the company where he first worked as a summer employee 23 years ago. "One of the things we need to do now is gain critical mass in engineering resins compounding," he said.

Techmer's recent buyout of the Techmer Lehvoss Compounds (TLC) LLC joint venture should help in that area. Techmer had operated the business as a joint venture with German compounder Lehmann & Voss & Co. KG since 2004, but Howley said the business "hadn't gone as well as either party would have liked, as far as sales were concerned."

"There were some successes, but we thought it could be more successful by taking a different path," he added. Techmer will continue to make TLC products such as Plaslube and Electrafil engineering resin compounds at its plant in Clinton, where TLC had occupied 40,000 square feet of the 190,000-square-foot building.

Howley declined to say how much Techmer paid for L&V's 40 percent stake in TLC. L&V already has opened an office in Pawcatuck, Conn., which it will use to market its Luvocom-brand engineering resin compounds, some of which previously had been made in Clinton. Techmer no longer will make Luvocom there, but Howley said L&V may market compounds that compete with the Plaslube and Electrafil materials.

Techmer now will operate the former TLC business — along with specialty materials made at its plant in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. — as Techmer Engineered Solutions LLC.

The new machine shop in Clinton is located in a separate building that covers between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet. The shop opened in mid-2012 and now has four full-time employees.

Previously, Techmer machinery that was in need of repair had to be sent out to other firms. Now, the firm will be able to refurbish and rebuild its own extruders, which Howley said will extend the life of the machinery.

Techmer also has improved its machinery know-how by hiring Dan Dickens, a longtime employee of extruder maker Coperion GmbH. "He's basically our manufacturing guru," Howley said of Dickens. "He can help us find ways to increase throughput."

Howley added that Techmer is looking to make acquisitions to grow the company. The firm was interested in Infinity Compounding LLC before that company was bought by Americhem Inc. Late last year. Not counting the TLC buyout, Techmer hasn't made an acquisition since it bought the Irgasurf line of additives from BASF SE in 2010.

Howley said Techmer was off to a good start in 2013, with January sales coming in 15 percent higher than expected. Techemr's sales for 2013 are expected to be above the $200 million mark. The firm makes a wide variety of compounds and color and additive concentrates at six U.S. sites. Techmer's Naperville, Ill., plant will relocate to Batavia, Ill., during the third quarter.

Techmer now employs 515 but still has a strong family element. In addition to Howley and Manuck, Howley's wife, Marina Howley, serves as the firm's global marketing director, and Manuck's brother, Rich Manuck, is Techmer's corporate training manager.

The family connection extends to Howley's sister, Heather Phillips, who is the firm's human resources director, and her husband, Chris Phillips, who leads Techmer's lean programs.

"We're not a small company anymore," Ryan Howley said. "But we're still a family company."


Comments

Techmer buys out joint venture partner

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 27, 2013 1:50 pm ET
Updated: February 27, 2013 1:59 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sony entering recycled PC market

August 27, 2014 11:08 am ET

Consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. is getting into a sideline of selling recycled resins.    More

Image

Nova expanding PE research center

August 26, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Nova Chemicals Corp. has broken ground on an expansion of its polyethylene research center in Calgary, Alberta.    More

Image

Sinopec licenses PP technology to USA, posts half-year results

August 26, 2014 11:46 am ET

China's state-owned petrochemical giant Sinopec Corp. said it is licensing polypropylene polymerization technology to a U.S. plant for the first time ...    More

Image

Megadyne buying Belt Corp. of America

August 26, 2014 10:35 am ET

In a move aimed at building its specialty belting manufacturing and fabrication operations, Jason Industrial Inc. — Megadyne SpA's wholly owned ...    More

Image

Sonoco buys Germany's Weidenhammer, plans for thin-walled packaging growth

August 25, 2014 1:41 pm ET

Sonoco Products Co.'s acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH of Germany includes plastic packaging technology that the company is targeting ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events