TORONTO - Canadian General-Tower Ltd. plans to expand the vinyl sheet product line and sales of its recently acquired U.S. subsidiary, according to an official with the Cambridge, Ontario, firm. Canadian General-Tower will introduce Textileather Corp. to markets for calendered vinyl pond and ditch liners and roofing, said James Chaplin, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian General-Tower.
Chaplin, in a telephone interview, said his company bought Textileather of Toledo, Ohio, on March 31 for undisclosed terms.
Its sales last year of about $50 million were concentrated in automotive interior products. Canadian General-Tower had sales of about C$150 million (US$109.5 million), about 60 percent of which were automotive-related, Chaplin said.
Chaplin said he and other officials target a 1997 sales level of US$87 million for Textileather and C$200 million (US$146 million) for the Cambridge operation.
Textileather's excess capacity in Toledo and its strength in unsupported, expanded vinyl products for auto door interiors and instrument panels are particularly attractive to Canadian General-Tower, Chaplin said.
The Cambridge operation makes calendered and coated vinyl sheet for diverse applications.
``This [acquisition] strengthens us with some auto manufacturers,'' Chaplin said. ``It gives us a complete range of interior car trim. Auto suppliers need to be bigger.''
Textileather Corp. will operate as a separate company. It also will retain its current name and management. Officials at Textileather did not return telephone calls.
Chaplin said the Cambridge operation will increase its capacity through efficiency improvements. However, he did not disclose details. It employs about 650.
Textileather was an employee-owned firm after workers bought it five years ago for $10 million from GenCorp Polymer Products.
As part of the Canadian General-Tower deal, Textileather's 300 workers agreed to a three-year contract with an immediate 10-percent raise and cost-of-living increases in the second and third years.