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Argotec buys Stevens Urethane to broaden film portfolio

By: Frank Antosiewicz

May 2, 2014

Argotec LLC is broadening its thermoplastic polyurethane film and sheet portfolio with the purchase of Stevens Urethane of Easthampton, Mass.

“The two companies are an ideal fit. Our specialty is aliphatic polyurethane film and sheet. Stevens is very good at extruding aromatic TPU film and sheet,” said Guy Broadbent, Argotec’s president and CEO, in a news release.

For Argotec, it is the first major purchase since it was acquired by Chicago investment firm Wind Point Partners in partnership with Broadbent in June 2013.

Headquartered in Greenfield, Mass., Argotec makes film and sheet products internationally for optical interlayers, paint and surface protection, graphic films, medical and textile lamination.

Stevens, like its acquirer, makes TPU film and sheet, as well as urethane tubing, cord and profiles. It was a business unit of JPS Elastomers Corp., which is part of JPS Industries in Greenville, S.C.

JPS traces its roots back to 1863 when the Easthampton Rubber Thread Co. started to manufacture square-cut rubber thread for the textile industry.

Broadbent said many Stevens employees will continue with the company under Argotec’s ownership, which is planning for “continued plant expansion, organizational development, further improvements in product quality and the ongoing innovation that is demanded by the industries we serve.”

Stevens’ base of operations is in Easthampton, where it has 80 employees and it has competed in certain areas with Argotec. However, Argotec said the intent of the combination is to integrate the strengths of both companies and provide growth for a combined entity.

Argotech has 150 employees in three facilities in Greenfield. Its newest application is a two-part graphic film system that uses TPU film for graphics along with a clear over-laminate layer. The product is an alternative to cast vinyl films.