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US equipment firm buys Negri Bossi

By: Michael Lauzon

April 14, 2014

Italian plastics equipment major Sacmi Group’s offerings are getting a U.S. identity.

Sacmi has sold its plastics division to Kingsbury Corp., a machinery firm based in Rush, N.Y., for undisclosed terms. The deal became official on April 11, when Sacmi announced the deal.

Kingsbury makes extrusion, conveyance, coating and converting machinery for paper, plastics, metal foils and glass. Major markets are automotive, aerospace and electronic components. The firm is a sister company to Optimation Technology Inc., also of Rush, a business engaged in industrial engineering, design, assembly, construction and maintenance that recently became integrated with Kingsbury’s machinery manufacturing.

“This sale is in keeping with Sacmi’s desire to streamline management and focus more on the ceramics and packaging sectors,” stated Sacmi Group general manager Pietro Cassani in a news release. Cassani will join the Kingsbury-Negri Bossi board of directors.

Cassani said his presence on the board “ensures strong ties with the Sacmi Group, which remains the main supplier of high-tonnage presses, built in Imola [Italy].”

Cassani indicated sales of the large presses have been strong and employment in Imola will be expanded.

Sacmi’s product lines include Negri Bossi injection molding machines, Bi-Power line of very large presses to customers such as European auto majors like Chrysler Group LLC, and Roboline-Sytrama robotic machinery. Sytrama servo Cartesian robots include sizes for injection presses up to 7,700 tons.

Negri Bossi, owned by Sacmi for about 10 years, has reorganized under Sacmi ownership and expanded its product lines to include high-end machines. Subsidiary Negri Bossi North America is based in New Castle, Del.

Negri Bossi North America supplies Negri Bossi and Sytrama brands. The subsidiary reports directly to Negri Bossi SpA of Milan, Italy, and will continue to report to that office. Negri Bossi injection presses from 55 to 7,700 tons are available in the U.S. market. Tony Firth, Negri Bossi North America’s vice president and general manager said U.S. manufacturing of Sacmi’s former product lines eventually could occur.

Sacmi USA in Des Moines, Iowa, continues to supply Sacmi products for ceramics and beverage markets and for Sacmi’s continuous compression technologies.

“The new owners have expressed their intention to maintain the current [manufacturing] facilities, especially in Cologno and [Imola], without any personnel cuts,” Cassani explained. “In fact, the emphasis is on growth, which is being driven by the two most promising markets, the U.S.A. and the U.K.”

Kingsbury customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, Chrysler Corp. Ford Motor Co., Briggs & Stratton Corp., Whirlpool Corp. and Honeywell International Inc.

Cassani said the business segments in the transaction have annual sales of about 100 million euros.

Kingsbury’s origins date to 1860, when it was mainly a toy manufacturer. It evolved into machine tool technology and diversified into machinery. The company went bankrupt in 2011 and Optimation acquired the business and assets in early 2012. Optimation moved Kingsbury’s equipment from Keene, N.H., to a 180,000-square-foot facility in Rochester, N.Y., where Kingsbury does its manufacturing, including components for Optimation’s business. Optimation runs several sales offices throughout the United States.

Optimation is majority owned by private investment firm Owner Resource Group LLC of Austin, Texas, with Optimation founder, President and CEO Bill Pollock holding the rest. Owner Resource bought its stake in 2012.

In June 2013, Kingsbury and Kodak agreed to produce touch-screen sensors in the United States, an activity dominated by Asian factories.