By: Roger Renstrom
April 24, 2014
Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital LLC of Miami has entered into a definitive agreement to sell plastics processor Vaupell Holdings Inc. to Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. of Tokyo.
H.I.G. and Vaupell did not disclose terms of the deal, but financial publications valued the deal at $265 million. The purchase will boost Sumitomo Bakelite's stake in aerospace and medical molding.
Plans to complete the transaction before June 30 are contingent on U.S. government approval.
Joseph Jahn, Vaupell’s CEO, said H.I.G. has helped Vaupell grow through two acquisitions, the opening of a second 18,000-square-foot Everett, Wash., facility and the establishment of a joint venture in Shenzhen, China.
H.I.G. acquired Vaupell in May 2004 and concurrently bought SciTech Plastics Group LLC, extending Vaupell’s core aerospace capability into the medical and niche commercial markets. The other H.I.G.-backed acquisition involved Russell Plastics Technology Co. Inc. in 2011 for defense applications.
Seattle-based Vaupell employs about 750. In addition to Seattle, Everett and Shenzhen, the company operates facilities in Hudson, N.H.; Agawam, Mass.; Lindenhurst, N.Y.; Constantine, Mich.; and Sanger, Texas. Vaupell withholds details on its sales.
Vaupell develops and manufactures thermoplastic products, historically with a focus on commercial aircraft interiors. Key customers include Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS, plus component suppliers including United Technologies Corp.’s aerospace systems subsidiary, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and Triumph Aerostructures’ Vought aircraft division.
Among its production output, Vaupell makes plastic window surrounds for the 787 Dreamliner and plastic parts for the Boeing 737, 777 and 747-8 aircraft.
Among operations, a Vaupell Midwest site manufactures implant devices incorporating bioabsorbable materials. Vaupell Northeast makes medical devices, Vaupell Rapid Solutions produces rapid prototypes and Vaupell Southwest manufactures carriers for the pneumatic tube industry and competitive pool equipment, such as lane markers.
Founded in 1947, Vaupell prides itself on providing a wide range of services ranging from product prototyping to tooling, part production, assembly and kitting. Vaupell often uses highly-engineered resins and polymer matrix composites in manufacturing tight-tolerance injection molded parts and assemblies.
Sumitomo Bakelite is a major global player in engineering thermoset resins and molding compounds.
Sumitomo Bakelite reported profit of 18.7 million yen ($178,000) on sales of 141.5 billion yen ($1.35 billion) for the nine months ended Dec. 31. As of September, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. owned 19.98 percent of publicly traded Sumitomo Bakelite.
H.I.G. Capital provides capital to small and medium-sized companies with a current portfolio that includes more than 80 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion.