Focused M&A strategy creates a stronger MedPlast

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 17, 2014 4:05 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2014 11:43 am ET

Image By: Janet Century Medplast Inc. CEO Harold Faig, right, has worked closely with investor Andrew Brickman, left, of Baird Capital Partners to create a medical supplier with multiple capabilities.

Related to this story

Topics Medical, Mergers & Acquisitions, Injection Molding

CLEVELAND — MedPlast Inc., led by private equity-backed management has grown from combining two companies in 2008 to become a diverse medical processor, with injection molding, two-shot molding, blow molding, extrusion, silicone, compression molding and tooling, said CEO Harold Faig.

“We cover the broad range, and I feel that we have the broadest capability serving the largest segment of the health care market,” Faig said at Plastics in Medical Devices 2014 in Cleveland.

Based in Tempe, Ariz., MedPlast now runs 13 factories in the United States, Mexico, China and Europe. The company serves 10 different market segments, including diagnostic products, surgical aspirators, shunts, orthopedic implants and cardiovascular syringes.

Faig said the focus on medical is important: “Everything we do is about health care. We get up in the morning and we think about health care. We go to sleep at night, we think about health care.”

Building MedPlast was not easy, said Faig and Andrew Brickman, partner in Baird

Capital Partners, who relived the formation of the medical supplier May 8 at the conference, held in the new Cleveland Convention Center. Moderating the session was Andrew Petryk, managing director of Brown Gibbons Lang & Co., which represented the sellers when MedPlast bought part of Allied Tech Products Corp. and Orthoplastics Ltd.

“This deal will go down as the toughest transaction I’ve ever worked on,” Brickman said, “but it’s going to be fruitful.”

Baird Capital bought ATP’s engineered rubber and plastics group and K&W Medical Specialties, bringing together five plants. Baird compiled a management team, led by Faig, to run Medplast. Faig has decades of plastics experience, as CEO of Tech Group Inc. and before that, a longtime executive of machinery builder Milacron LLC. He had retired from both companies.

“We got in there thinking we’ll just go buy a medical company and call it a day, and scale it [up],” Brickman said. In 2008, the market was “frothy” and selling prices were high.

“We fought it out and formed MedPlast,” he said.

Then the Great Recession hit.

“It was very painful right out of the gate,” Brickman said.

Image By: Janet Century Andrew Brickman, a partner in Baird Capital Partners.

Brickman called plastics “a tough business,” even in good times. And medical is one of most challenging markets, as customers want to remove costs and demand perfect quality from the molder.

Brickman and Faig said the immediate hard times proved the axiom that people are critical. Faig had brought over some key plastics people from Tech Group.

“I had a very loyal team of people,” he said. “We had a seasoned team, and that, in my mind, was the difference between winning and losing in 2008.”

Faig also said a plastics supplier must have employees with medical-sector experience and a disciplined corporate culture, since mistakes can carry very severe consequences — or even fatal ones.

The owners steadily invested in expansion and clean rooms. Then in 2012, MedPlast bought United Plastics Group Inc. That deal brought contract manufacturing and operations in China and Mexico. A year later, MedPlast bought U.K.-based Orthoplastics and its device implants expertise.

Faig said the result is a broad medical plastics company that is more of a one-stop shop than traditional medical molders. Having plants in different locations also is important, because health care customers would rather not travel to far-flung locations as they develop highly complex products, he said.

Looking ahead, Faig said single-use devices will continue to grow, and regulations are getting tighter. The Affordable Care Act is bringing millions of new health care consumers. And demand is increasing for medical devices for use at home, outside of the hospital.

Faig said MedPlast is getting into blow, fill and seal technology. The company also is looking at 3-D printing, although he did not give details.

“We’re very, very bullish on the medical markets,” Faig said.


Comments

Focused M&A strategy creates a stronger MedPlast

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 17, 2014 4:05 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2014 11:43 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Plastics News Now: Students set sail on PET boat

August 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

A toymaker moves production to the United States from China, an ice bucket maker takes the ALS challenge with a twist and students made a boat nearly ...    More

Image

Baxter may be looking for a Boston home

August 28, 2014 11:46 am ET

As Baxter International Inc. may be staking out real estate in the Boston area for its headquarters, Illinois faces the prospect of having to dangle...    More

Image

Canadian mold maker Thibault adding to new operation in Mexico

August 27, 2014 3:19 pm ET

Canadian mold maker I Thibault Inc has purchased an established Mexican company, Tecnimoldes SA de CV, for a seven-figure-dollar-sum and renamed it...    More

Image

Design, materials, engineering finding a faster way forward

August 27, 2014 1:50 pm ET

Engineering and design specialists at Altair Thinklabs and Eastman Chemical Co. have developed prototypes that would not just help Paralympics...    More

Image

Design Stories: Young designers showing the way in adaptive design

August 27, 2014 12:12 pm ET

Amanda Bolton, then 19, decided to change her major at the University of Cincinnati from fine arts to industrial design, creating products for people ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events