Bag manufacturer Uniflex Inc. has divested its Hantico subsidiary in preparation for a major regional push into the Western states and expansion of its medical packaging business. Uniflex, based in Hicksville, N.Y., sold the assets of Hantico, a maker of promotional buttons, badges and ribbons, to American Greenwood Inc., an Evergreen Park, Ill., company that makes a similar product line. Terms were not disclosed.
Uniflex acquired Hantico, based in Newburgh, N.Y., and formerly known as the Hand Tip and Novelty Co., in December 1992.
Uniflex President Robert K. Semel said his company had increased Hantico's sales and brought it from a money-losing position to the break-even mark in profitability in 1994.
The cash raised through the Hantico sale will be used to establish a new subsidiary, Cycle Plastics of Albuquerque, N.M. Semel said Uniflex also is looking for an acquisition in the medical products industry.
Cycle, set to begin operating in March, will make Uniflex's line of plastic bags. Uniflex's primary product line includes bags for specialty advertising, retailing, apparel packaging and medical specimens and disposal.
The $800,000 investment in Cycle also will allow Uniflex to produce new products, such as bags with soft plastic handles and zip-lock bags. Uniflex currently operates one plant in Westbury, N.Y., where it converts film into bags and operates seven injection presses used to mold hard plastic handles for bags.
The emphasis on health care is being driven by strong growth in the sector. In the past three years, Uniflex's health-care division has grown from 4 percent of total company sales to 25 percent of sales, the company said. By 1997, Uniflex predicts medical products will account for half its revenue.
Semel said publicly held Uniflex should show total sales of $29.5 million in the fiscal year ending Jan. 31.