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Acquisitions strengthen Dash's urethane business

By: Mike McNulty
RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

May 21, 2013

NEW YORK — Dash Multi-Corp. is on a fast track to expand its polyurethane operation.

A platform portfolio company of New York-based private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners, Dash has acquired, through its parent company, two similar yet distinct businesses that focus on urethane product manufacturing.

Arsenal bought polyurethane systems and tire fill producer Arnco Inc. on May 1, moving it under Dash's umbrella to bolster its Specialty Industrial Group as part of Dash Polyurethane Systems, an Arsenal spokesman said.

One day later Dash purchased Pathway Polymers Inc., a maker of polyurethane tire fill material used for flatproofing tires and equipment, from England-based Vita Group. It, too, will become part of the Dash Polyurethane Systems business unit, in the Dash Tire Fill segment.

Financial details weren't released on the acquisitions.

The transactions make Dash, which Arsenal acquired in December 2012, a major player in the urethane industry, especially the tire flat proofing market.

Strong production base

Established in 1971, South Gate, Calif.-based Arnco operates five primary businesses: Arnco Tire Flatproofing, a maker of flatproofing systems; Arnco Performance Polymers, a manufacturer of high-performance urethane systems; Carefree Tire, a supplier of a line of lightweight solid, micro-cellular polyurethane tires; Arnco Construction Products, a producer of flexible and rigid roofing spray foams and UV protective coatings; and Arnco Europe.

Arnco has factories in South Gate; Berea, Ohio; Manchester, England; and Jiaxing City, China.

The company will retain the Arnco name, and the same management team headed by President Larry Carapellotti will remain in place. No layoffs or plant closures are planned, the spokesman said. Carapellotti also will join the Dash board of directors, he said.

St. Louis-headquartered Dash manufactures custom formulated polyurethane systems, specialty vinyl plastisols and recycled rubber products. It also manages one of the largest tire recyclers, processing about 35 million pounds of tires annually in the U.S.

The combination of Dash and Arnco "positions us to better serve our customers globally and to expand our product offerings into existing and new markets," Carapellotti said. "The companies are highly complementary, and both become better—together as one."

Combining the two strengthens the manufacturing capabilities, technical expertise and product development initiatives of both firms, said Dash CEO Andy Harris.

Arnco gives St. Louis-based Dash more scale and expands its services within the polyurethane market, which is a high growth sector for the companies, while Dash provides Arnco with additional rubber products, according to the spokesman.

Teaming up

Dash's purchase of Pathway gives the company a leading producer of polyurethane tire fill material along with equipment that it can team with Arnco, although each will remain separate operations, the spokesman said.

They will work together, he said, to see how they can support each other, adding that they have "similar applications, but different technologies."

Arnco and Pathway's one-time owner, Synair Corp., were heavily involved for a number of years in court in patent disputes over tire fill material.

Like Arnco, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Pathway was established in 1971. It produces TyrFil polyurethane tire fill material used to flatproof tires and is a supplier to original equipment manufacturers and the mining, construction and rental industries.

Pathway also owns the AutoFil Recycler System, used in the aftermarket, and the OE AutoFil Recycler System, designed for OEM customers. The firm said the Recycler System keeps millions of pounds of post-consumer tire fill and recycled pneumatic tires out of landfills each year.

The company will continue to operate out of its Chattanooga plant with its present work force, the spokesman said. Its management team, headed by President and CEO Joe Danules, will remain on board, he said

"The combination builds on our strategy to create a leading polyurethane business offering a broad portfolio of products and technologies that serve multiple-end markets," according to Tim Zappala, a partner at Arsenal and co-head of the Specialty Industrials Group.

It is likely that Arsenal, which was formed in 2000, will keep an eye the polyurethane industry landscape in its search for other opportunities. "We will continue to focus on the polyurethane market as it is a high growth sector," the spokesman said.