Selfix Inc. plans to expand in juvenile products by acquiring Mericon Child Safety Products, a Livonia, Mich., division of privately held Denshaw Cos. ``The juvenile segment is a big growth market,'' Peter Graves, Selfix vice president of marketing, said in a telephone interview from his company's head office in Chicago.
Safety products are among the fastest-growing areas of children's markets, he said.
Mericon makes mainly plastic home safety products such as cabinet locks and electrical outlet covers. It had sales of about $1 million last year. An undisclosed Detroit-area injection molder makes most of Mericon's components. Graves said Selfix is evaluating whether to bring Mericon's molding to Selfix's Chicago plant, which has about 20 presses.
Selfix's major product line is juvenile plastic storage products such as hanging cubes, shelving, racks and hangers, most under its Tidy Kids trade name. It injection molds the components at its 200,000-square-foot molding and packaging plant. It also makes plastic bath accessories and vinyl-coated organizers.
Graves said both copanies sell to similar distributors who supply mass merchandisers and specialty-child stores. Included in the purchase agreement is Mericon's license to use the Fisher-Price trade name on some of its safety products.
Dennis Buckshaw, Mericon founder and chief executive officer, said in a May 31 news release that Selfix's resources will help his firm commercialize new products and grow more rapidly. Selfix will retain Buckshaw as a consultant for new product development.
Selfix plans to pay an undisclosed amount of cash and stock for the Livonia firm in a deal Graves said should be complete by mid-July. Selfix, listed on Nasdaq, had sales of $41 million last year.