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Simona buys Boltaron, expands North America presence

By: Michael Lauzon

April 1, 2014

Simona AG plans to expand its specialty sheet business by acquiring Boltaron Performance Products LLC, its second sheet acquisition in recent months.

Boltaron of Newcomerstown, Ohio, has extrusion, calendering and press lamination operations in one factory, making it unique in North America, according to the company. It makes monolayer and multilayer film and sheet up to 76 millimeters thick using PVC, PVC/acrylic alloys and chlorinated PVC. Aerospace is a key market, and it also supplies rail and mass transit, construction and industrial sectors. In the latter sector it counts enclosures and clean rooms among its applications.

Early this year Simona announced its purchase of Laminations Inc., an Archbald, Pa., producer of high density polyethylene and fluoropolymer sheet and lining laminates for outdoor recreation, signage, furniture, marine and chemical process markets.

“Each of these companies commands a significant share of a different market, but collectively they span the entire market with high-volume commodity grades up to high-performance aerospace grades,” noted Simona AG CEO Wolfgang Moyses in an April 1 news release.

Simona America Inc., based in Hazleton, Pa., produces polyolefin and PVC sheet and solid rod and sells shapes made by other subsidiaries of Simona AG. Simona America had estimated film and sheet sales of about $38 million in 2012, according to Plastics News’ film and sheet survey.

“Not a merger of competitors or a consolidation of personnel, this acquisition is an aggressive expansion in all respects,” explained Boltaron CEO and majority owner Lawrence Schorr in a news release. Boltaron will gain from Simona’s growth emphasis, international distribution network and technical resources, he added.

Moyses said Simona AG has pursued the Boltaron acquisition for several years. Its formal relationship began in 2011 while the companies explored the possibility of setting up a joint venture in China, although a spokesman said Simona and Boltaron are still in planning stages for the China project.

The two companies plan no changes to personnel at Boltaron as the firms share best practices and benefit from synergies in sales and technical expertise.

Schorr will become CEO of Simona America Group, to be comprised of Simona America, Laminations Inc. and Boltaron. Schorr managed the Newcomerstown business for Empire Plastics Inc. from 1995 to 2004. He and partner Dean Li bought the business in 2004 and Li has managed day-to-day operations since then. Li will continue as Boltaron President. Laminations Inc. President Michael Lynch also assumes the presidency of Simona America Inc.

Boltaron’s origins date to 1954, when it was founded as the plastics division of Sieberling Rubber Co. It became Seilon in 1964 and in 1968 was purchased by General Tire & Rubber Co. The latter became Gen Corp. and the Newcomerstown business became an operating unit until Empire Plastics bought it in 1995.

Simona AG is based in Kim, Germany.