EUGENE, ORE. - Pacific Western Extruded Plastics Co. is about to change hands. Rumors are flying about the prospective buyer, with most industry observers suggesting a Japanese firm already has signed a letter of intent to acquire the dominant West Coast PVC pipe extruder, known as PW Pipe. President James Rash last week declined to comment on such speculation but said PW Pipe would make a public announcement July 5.
Privately held Simpson Investment Co. announced plans in January to sell PW Pipe to focus on its main products of wood, pulp and paper.
According to Plastics News data, PW Pipe is the third-largest North American maker of plastic pipe, with $206 million in estimated 1994 sales. The company, based in Eugene, extrudes PVC pipe for water, drainage, sewer, irrigation and conduit at six plants in California, Washington and Oregon.
3 workers burned in J-Von accident
LEOMINSTER, MASS. - An industrial accident burned three J-Von L.P. employees working at the firm's Leominster thermoplastics compounding plant.
No fire or explosion occurred in the June 24 incident so the Leominster Fire Department turned the investigation over to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials, according to Lt. Robert Sidlow of the city's fire department.
Sidlow said the workers were changing a screen on an extruder when built-up pressure caused them to be sprayed with molten plastic, causing burns to their upper bodies. One was listed in critical condition for the first night but all three last week were recovering at home.
J-Von spokeswoman Peggy Lipka said the worker with the worst injuries, contrary to procedure, was not wearing a safety mask. She said it was the first such accident at J-Von since current owners of the private company bought it four years ago. The company has about 40 nonunionized employees.
Lipka said production was not affected by the accident.
Swiss firm Rieter buys Globe Industries
WINTERTHUR, SWITZERLAND - Rieter Holding AG, a Winterthur-based textile machinery and automotive components manufacturer, has paid $160 million to acquire Globe Industries Inc. of Chicago, a privately owned supplier of automotive acoustics insulation components and a Rieter affiliate since 1978.
Globe's products include polyurethane foam-based carpet backing and dashboard insulation as well as reinforced PU package trays and similar components. Globe had sales of $260 million last year, and employs 2,000 at 12 plants in the United States and Canada. More than half of Globe's annual sales come from business with Detroit's Big Three car makers.
Rieter's automotive systems division, previously known widely as ``Unikeller,'' had sales last year of SFr 593 million ($433 million) and employed 3,800 in Europe.
The combined automotive components division will operate as Rieter Automotive Systems. The purchase agreement is subject to review by U.S. antitrust authorities.
Motorola plans Mexican pager plant
BOYNTON BEACH, FLA. - Motorola Inc.'s Paging Products Group in Boynton Beach plans to invest $50 million to build a manufacturing facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The 250,000-square-foot plant will open in mid-1996 to manufacture pagers to support the company's Latin American paging business, said Ken Countess, company spokesman.
Countess said no other details of the operation are available now. Asked if the facility will include injection molding operations, Countess said, ``Currently our plastic components come from outside suppliers, so it would not be appropriate for me to speculate about that at this time.''
Houston firm to buy recycling assests
HOUSTON - North American Techologies Group Inc. of Houston has signed a letter of intent to buy the assets and technologies of Thor Ventures LC and Gaia Technologies Inc. to make and sell Thor/Gaia's pipe and simulated wood products.
Thor/Gaia's proprietary technologies include a process to recycle rubber from auto tires and waste plastic for use in such products as porous commercial irrigation pipe, air conditioning pads, marine pilings and replacements for wood railroad ties.
The deal is pending final financing and negotiation of terms.