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Grand River Rubber & Plastics buys unit of UK company

By: Rachel Abbey McCafferty
CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS

August 29, 2013

Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co. in Ashtabula, Ohio, a maker of washers, gaskets and vacuum cleaner belts, has acquired the flat-belt-drive division of Icon Polymer Ltd. of Retford, England.

The acquisition helps employee-owned Grand River expand its global reach into Europe, the company said in a news release. Grand River employs about 200 people and has annual sales of about $45 million.

Icon Polymer has pioneered technology in drive belts, including a low-tension range of belts using "LoTenz" technology, according to Grand River. The sale solidifies the British company's focus on the aerospace and defense industries.

Grand River said the companies plan to pursue other collaborative projects.

Richard Selip, president of Grand River, said in a statement that the employee-owned company sees opportunity in niche markets. "The acquisition of the Icon Polymer flat-drive-belt business is a logical next step in pursuing this strategy," he said.

Terms of the acquisition were not released.