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Negri Bossi's new owners may 'bring significant manufacturing' to US

By: Michael Lauzon

April 16, 2014

Italian plastics equipment major Negri Bossi may “bring significant manufacturing of injection molding machines back to the United States” following its acquisition by a U.S.-based equipment firm.

Sacmi Group announced April 11 that it had sold its plastics division to Kingsbury Corp., a machinery firm based in Rush, N.Y. Private equity firm Ausable Capital Partners LLC of Santa Monica, Calif., also bought a stake.

“The new owners have expressed their intention to maintain the current [manufacturing] facilities, especially in Cologno and [Imola, Italy], without any personnel cuts,” said Sacmi General Manager Pietro Cassani said during that announcement. “In fact, the emphasis is on growth, which is being driven by the two most promising markets, the USA and the U.K.”

In a later news release, Negri Bossi expanded on that comment and said Kingsbury and sister company Optimation Technology Inc. can provide engineering development experience that will help prepare the groundwork for U.S. production.

“Kingsbury sells to many manufacturers in the automotive, small equipment and appliance markets who use machining and assembly, but also require a great number of plastic parts in their equipment,” said Kingsbury President and CEO Bill Pollock in an email. “Expanding their line of machines to include injection molding of plastic parts will enable Kingsbury to sell a more complete line of products and services to these clients.

“In order to effectively meet the needs of the U.S. market, products will need to be adapted to the specific requirements and codes existing [in the U.S.]. We anticipate that final assembly will be the first task moved to the United States with an evolution of designs and a blending of the best from both continents.”

Kingsbury makes extrusion, conveyance, coating and converting machinery for paper, plastics, metal foils and glass, selling to the auto, aerospace and electronic components industries. Optimation Technology, also of Rush, is a business engaged in industrial engineering, design, assembly, construction and maintenance that recently became integrated with Kingsbury’s machinery manufacturing.

Cassani will join the Kingsbury-Negri Bossi board of directors.

The sale includes all the assets of the Negri Bossi business, including production plants in Italy and India, manufacturing partnerships in China and Czech Republic, and sales and service offices in several international countries. Negri Bossi’s portfolio includes Negri Bossi and BM Biraghi injection molding machine product lines and Sytrama Cartesian robots and related automation products.

Negri Bossi, founded in 1947, is the oldest producer of injection presses in Italy and offers clamp sizes of up to 7,700 tons. Its lineup features hydraulic, hybrid and all-electric machines sold into most molding markets. The large-tonnage presses have customers such as European auto makers like Chrysler Group LLC.

Negri Bossi North America of New Castle, Del., supplies Negri Bossi and Sytrama brands. The subsidiary has reported directly to Negri Bossi SpA of Milan, Italy. Negri Bossi injection presses from 55 to 7,700 tons are available in the U.S. market. Sacmi USA in Des Moines, Iowa, continues to supply Sacmi products for ceramics and beverage markets and for Sacmi’s continuous compression technologies.

Updated 4:35 p.m. to include comments from Kingsbury CEO Bill Pollock