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

Image

Investment firm buys Ontario cap molder

October 23, 2014 2:01 pm ET

A company whose varied interests include food and refrigerated transportation businesses is now moving into plastic caps.    More

Image

Report: Private equity companies may seek to buy Bayer MaterialScience

October 23, 2014 10:56 am ET

A number of investment groups are reported to be interested buying Bayer AG's MaterialScience operation, valued at around 10 billion euros ($12.6...    More

Image

Sales, orders climbing for Wittmann Battenfeld

October 22, 2014 4:04 pm ET

Equipment maker Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH expects sales this year to increase 7 percent, to 295 million euros, as it said some key markets, including...    More

Image

Comar merging with Convergence Packaging

October 21, 2014 5:07 pm ET

A couple of plastic packaging companies owned by private investment firm Graham Partners are merging into a single entity.    More

Image

Celanese buys conductive polymer supplier

October 21, 2014 4:31 pm ET

Materials firm Celanese Corp. has acquired most of the assets of conductive polymers maker Cool Polymers Inc. for an undisclosed price.    More

Market Reports

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

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 analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

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

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