Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group building first US plant

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 25, 2013 1:28 pm ET
Updated: June 25, 2013 5:13 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Materials, Materials Suppliers, K 2013

Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group is investing $11.5 million to build its first U.S. plant while also making long-term plans for expansion in Asia that will lead it to becoming a global player.

“We now have four plants in Europe and we’re already in Mexico and Brazil. Our priority was to complete the coverage in the Americas and Europe and move on to Asia,” said Ricardo Meucci, commercial director for So.F.Ter Group, in a June 25 telephone interview.

The company expects to build a plant in Chennai, India, in 2014 — building on a distribution agreement with Kohyei Trading India Pvt. Ltd. which begin this year — and in China in 2016, although it does not have specific plans yet for China.

The new plant in Lebanon, Tenn., will produce, develop and sell engineering plastics based on polyamide, polypropylene, thermoplastic elastomers and other materials targeted to the U.S. market. So.F.Ter, based in Forli, Italy, will begin construction in July and hopes to launch production by the end of the year.

The initial capacity is 50 million pounds, with 50 employees in a 100,000 square foot facility. The 21-acre site is expected to expand eventually to 150 million pounds of capacity, 150 employees and 250,000 square feet.

The location will give So.F.Ter better access to an expanding U.S. auto market as well as customers in the appliance, construction, electrical and electronics industries and firms throughout the Eastern and Midwestern U.S., said Mark Rodden, managing director for the U.S.

Existing capacity in Silao, Mexico, will help balance out demand in Mexico and the western United States, while production in Campo Bom, Brazil, covers customers in South America.

“It’s really difficult, if not impossible, to be everywhere, but [we want to] be in a majority of the areas in the industrial world,” Meucci said.

So.F.Ter was formed in 1980 to supply the shoe industry. The company has been on a growth pattern for the past several years, buying the European operations of Matrixx Inc. in 2008 and Italy’s P-Group in 2011. It opened in Brazil in 2005 and in Mexico a year later.

With the new presence in the U.S., the company is looking to build on its experience and reputation with global customers, Rodden said. The expansion will be timely for the expected growth of key customers in the auto market.

“We think for the U.S., we are going to get a double effect, both thanks to [our] globalization, and the second because the American market in itself is expected to grow in the next five to 10 years,” Meucci said.

So.F.Ter saw $330 million (250 million euros) in sales in 2012 and lists itself as one of the largest independent compounders globally and one of the three largest in Europe.

The distribution agreement in India announced in February places the firm in position to get its products on the market now while preparing for its own facility next year.

So.F.Ter will launch the U.S. business in October at the K 2013 trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Comments

Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group building first US plant

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: June 25, 2013 1:28 pm ET
Updated: June 25, 2013 5:13 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ohio molder Denbro Plastics moves to new location

September 29, 2014 6:17 pm ET

Logo products injection molder Denbro Plastics Co. has moved to another plant within Toledo, Ohio, to streamline production and improve efficiency.    More

Image

Asahi Kasei breaks ground on Alabama compounding plant

September 29, 2014 5:39 pm ET

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America will be able to solve two problems at once with a new compounding plant in Athens, Ala.    More

Image

DuPont shifting Teflon production in China

September 29, 2014 2:35 pm ET

DuPont Co. will spend more than $15 million to improve its fluoropolymer product offerings in China.    More

Image

Japan's parts makers face challenges as carmakers expand supply base

September 29, 2014 11:01 am ET

For all their size and success, Japanese auto suppliers that rocketed to global dominance on the coattails of their No. 1 customer, Toyota Motor Corp....    More

Image

Sale of PVC maker Oltchim still in limbo

September 29, 2014 10:25 am ET

Fresh attempts to privatize insolvent Romanian PVC producer Oltchim SA have met with new obstacles as the European Union questioned the Romanian gover...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

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

More Events