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Thermoforming Technology Group adds Lyle Industries to its portfolio

By: Michael Lauzon

July 18, 2014

Thermoforming Technology Group LLC has expanded its thermoforming equipment presence with the acquisition of Lyle Industries Inc.

TTG, which owns thermoforming equipment maker Brown Machine LLC, could help propel Lyle into new market geographies and new products.

Chairman Mike Stein said the acquisition brings “a great thermoforming brand” into TTG.

“Lyle’s high-end [crystalline] PET equipment and bottle trimmers are technology and markets that TTG does not currently participate in,” Stein said in an email to Plastics News

“The acquisition provides a great opportunity to expand Lyle’s global presence through TTG’s existing international network,” Stein said.

Both Brown and Lyle operate as separate companies and maintain their identities, Stein said.

“This acquisition will result in further sharing of best practices and resources that will enhance TTG [companies’] overall value proposition to the thermoforming market,” he said.

Lyle makes roll-fed thermoformers ranging from units geared to limited production to those capable of long runs using high-speed, servo-driven technology. It also supplies on-line steel rule die trim equipment that matches metal-to-metal off-line trimming. It also supplies bottle-trimming equipment.

Lyle, founded in 1965, has customers around the world for its equipment, parts, service and technology. Its major markets are food packaging, horticulture, medical, retail and automotive.

Brown Machine is big in roll-fed and cut-sheet thermoformers for new users and customers requiring advanced systems. Brown Machine’s services include process engineering, tooling, productivity enhancing auxiliaries and prototyping laboratory. It claims to be the only thermoforming equipment supplier in the United States offering a full range of products. It has an extensive global presence — its machinery is running in 65 countries. It sells thin-sheet and thick-sheet machinery to diverse markets, among them packaging, automotive, appliance, medical and horticultural.

TTG also owns Epco LLC, a machinery remanufacturer and repair company for thermoformers and injection, blow molding and die-casting equipment.

Lyle, Brown Machine, Epco and TTG are all based in Beaverton, Mich. TTG is owned by Spell Capital Partners of Minneapolis and TTG management.

The deal will enhance and expand Lyle’s product offerings and service capabilities, the company said in a news release. As the thermoforming market grows, Lyle will be able to expand manufacturing capacity and boost research and development.

One thermoforming machinery competitor had positive things to say about the deal, including the potential for synergies between Brown and Lyle.

“I believe Mike Stein and the Spell Partners have made a very positive move by acquiring Lyle. The consolidation will add cost savings for engineering, service/install and purchasing,” said Paul Alongi, CEO of Carol Stream, Ill.-based Maac Machinery Corp., in an email to Plastics News.

“Brown’s additional technology along with the Spell Partners expertise will catapult Lyle up to the next level. Advancing the Lyle product line while incorporating the savings of consolidation will be better for both firms and for our industry as a whole,” Alongi said.

TTG’s origins date to Spell’s purchase in 2008 of Pacific Production Technologies, which owned Brown Machine and Epco, and hydraulic press maker Pacific Press Technologies. It was Spell’s first investment in machinery manufacturing.

Brown Machine and Epco had been owned by Madison Capital Partners since 1998. Madison had bundled Brown Machine, Epco and Pacific Press into Pacific Production Technologies about a year before it sold PPT to Spell.