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

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Alex Brands buys iconic Shrinky Dinks toys

December 19, 2014 3:15 pm ET

First Slinky, now Shrinky Dinks. What will toy and games investment firm Alex Brands buy next?    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Patel named LyondellBasell CEO

December 19, 2014 9:56 am ET

Bhavesh V. “Bob” Patel has been named CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, effective Jan. 12.    More

Image

Momentive to get a new name in January

December 19, 2014 9:45 am ET

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. will change its name to Hexion Inc., effective Jan. 15.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events