AKRON, OHIO - Myers Industries Inc. of Akron has acquired Ameri-Kart Corp., a Midwest maker of plastic two-wheeled trash carts and hydraulic lift systems for waste handling. The companies closed the cash deal June 30, according to Gregory J. Stodnick, Myers' vice president of finance. Terms were undisclosed.
Myers had been working on the buy for the past five to six months, Stodnick said.
The public firm manufactures both plastic and rubber products; its main plastics business is injection molded polyethylene and polypropylene storage organizers, from ``small, generic types'' to larger, structural foam containers, Stodnick said. Of that business, 75 percent is industrial, the rest consumer, he said.
Ameri-Kart gives Myers brand-new manufacturing capabilities, as well as a solid line of proprietary products, he said. The company makes both thermoformed and rotationally molded two-wheeled residential trash carts, marketed under the trade names Poly-Kart and Versa-Kart, respectively; a line of hydraulic dumpers for garbage trucks, called Poly-Lift; custom rotomolded holding tanks for recreational vehicles; and other, smaller, custom thermoformed and rotomolded plastic parts for the automotive and RV industries.
Ameri-Kart's waste-handling products made up the bulk of its $19 million in sales last year, he said.
The firm sells its trash cart and dumper systems to U.S. and Canadian waste haulers and municipalities with trash pickup programs, a business comprising ``a lot of medium-size contracts,'' he said.
Assets purchased include a 62,000-square-foot plant in Goddard, Kan., and a 125,000-square-foot plant in Bristol, Ind., according to Stodnick. Together the plants employ about 150. Stodnick said that he could not comment on the plants' equipment.
Ameri-Kart, like other Myers companies, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, with administrative and financial offices in Akron. Two former Ameri-Kart owners, Eric Guttuso and Robin Johnson, will oversee the firm's operations from Bristol. Guttuso will remain chief executive officer, Johnson vice president of finance.
Two venture capital firms, in Topeka, Kan., and Houston, owned majority interest in the firm, Stodnick said. He declined to identify those sellers.
Myers' other plastics subsidiaries are Akro-Mils Inc., with plants in Akron and Wadsworth, Ohio; Plastic Parts Inc. in Shelbyville, Ky.; and Buckhorn Inc. in Dawson Springs, Ky. In addition to organizers, the companies mold plastic flowerpots and toolboxes for mass merchandisers, Stodnick said. Myers operates a total of 70-80 injection presses, he said.
Stodnick said Myers hopes to exploit the synergies between Ameri-Kart and Myers' other plastics outfits.
Plastics and rubber products make up about 58 percent of its total sales, Stodnick said. Last year, sales were $274.1 million.
Subsidiaries Patch Rubber Co. of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and Buckhorn Rubber Co., in Hannibal, Mo., produce rubber products.
Myers also is a wholesale distributor of tire repair and under-car service products, with 42 branches nationwide. Its stock is traded on the American Stock Exchange. It employs 1,600 companywide.