Graham Engineering buys Welex, moving production to York, Pa.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2013 3:34 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2013 4:23 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions, Machinery
Companies & Associations Graham Partners Inc.

Graham Engineering Corp., the York, Pa.-based blow molding machinery maker, has acquired Welex Inc. and will move manufacturing of the sheet extrusion lines to York.

Graham Engineering announced the news July 1. Terms were not disclosed for the deal, in which Graham buys Welex from the Hendrickson family. John G. Hendrickson founded Welex in 1967.

David Schroeder, former president and CEO of Welex, has been named president of Graham Engineering. The current Graham Engineering president, Wolfgang Liebertz, has assumed the role of CEO of the combined Graham Engineering/Welex organization.

Graham Engineering’s parent company, Graham Group, also in York, is building a plastics machinery platform. Last fall, Graham Group bought a controlling interest in American Kuhne Inc., which manufactures single-screw extruders in Ashaway, R.I.

Combined with the Welex deal, Graham Group now is a player in machinery for blow molded packaging and industrial parts, sheet extrusion for thermoformed packaging and extruders used to make medical tubing, pipe and profiles.

The three machinery companies have a total of 140 employees, said Bill Kerlin, chairman of Graham Engineering. Kerlin also is chairman and CEO of Graham Capital Co., which manages investments of the Graham family.

Graham will move Welex’s manufacturing from Greenville, N.C., to Graham Engineering in York, but Kerlin said the move will happen gradually.

“It’ll be an orderly transition. We’ve got a strong focus on serving our customers, so we’re just going to do it in an orderly manner,” he said. The Hendrickson family will retain the Welex headquarters building in Blue Bell, Pa., outside of Philadelphia.

Kerlin said Schroeder has a good business background to head up Graham Engineering/Welex. Before joining Welex in mid-2011, he was an executive at blow molder Constar International LLC, packaging maker Tetra Laval Group and blow molding equipment maker Sidel Inc.

Donald Graham founded Graham Engineering in 1960, and the company played a key role in the growth of blow molded plastic packaging. “We welcome the addition of the Welex technology and team to the Graham Engineering and American Kuhne complement of leading technologies, businesses and talent to our technology platform,” Graham said in a prepared statement.

Kerlin, interviewed by telephone, said Graham does want to add more machinery companies, but he added that “we’re going to do it selectively, where it makes sense.”

Kerlin said Kuhne and Welex both have “a very intensive customer focus,” which was attractive to Graham Engineering.

“Our strategy is that, the machinery business is a fairly ‘lumpy’ business. It has its peaks and valleys. What we’re really seeking to do is to build a stronger, more diverse base and platform so that we can attract and retain some of the best talent in the industry,” Kerlin said.

The Hendrickson family will continue to own bimetallic barrel maker Wexco Corp.


Comments

Graham Engineering buys Welex, moving production to York, Pa.

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2013 3:34 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2013 4:23 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Unipex Group buys Ferguson Chemical Innovation

July 29, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Chemical distributor Unipex Group Inc. announced July 29 that it had purchased Ferguson Chemical Innovation, a Brampton, Ontario-based supplier of...    More

Image

Universal Polymer beefing up capabilities through acquisition

July 29, 2014 12:04 pm ET

Universal Polymer & Rubber Ltd. is growing again and adding to its capabilities, this time via another acquisition and a plant expansion.    More

Image

Reynolds considering sale of Closure Systems International unit

July 29, 2014 10:32 am ET

Packaging giant Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. has put its closures business under review.    More

Image

Carbon black supplier Orion begins trading on NYSE

July 29, 2014 11:29 am ET

Orion Engineered Carbons S.a.r.l. has priced the initial public offering of 19.5 million common shares at a price to the public of $18 per share.    More

Image

Evonik sells polyimide foams operation to Boyd

July 29, 2014 10:46 am ET

Modesto, Calif.-based Boyd Corp., a manufacturers of specialty material and sealing agents, has purchased Evonik Industries’ Solimid...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

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