Automotive supplier Cambridge Industries Inc. of Madison Heights, Mich., announced July 24 that it has purchased a minority interest in Regal Plastics Co., a black-owned injection molding firm based in Roseville, Mich. The move comes at a time when Detroit's Big Three automakers are asking major parts suppliers such as Cambridge to boost the participation of minority subcontractors. Richard Crawford, Cambridge president and chief executive officer, called Regal's status as a minority-owned firm a ``key factor'' in the deal.
Crawford declined to disclose howmuch Cambridge had invested in Regal or the precise share of ownership acquired. He did say, however, that Cambridge will be involved in all aspects of Regal's business.
Crawford described Cambridge's role as a ``management and technology re-source'' for Regal, which needs ``a partner that has a little more depth to help them manage their growth.''
Regal had sales of $28 million last year and is expecting that number to grow to $33 million in 1995, said Chairman William Pickard.
Pickard called the timing of the Cambridge investment ideal.
``I'm excited,'' Pickard said. ``This is a tremendous strategic technology partnership for us.''
Regal, with 250 employees, has molding plants in Rose-ville and Owosso, Mich. It lists its key customers as General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp.
Cambridge, with 2,700 employees, has nearly a dozen manufacturing plants in Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, New York and Ontario.
It has grown fast in the past decade, largely by acquiring independent plastics companies and improving operations.
The company, with 1994 sales of $190 million, has capabilities in a range of processing technologies, including injection molding, blow molding, extrusion and compression molding.
Cambridge placed 51st in the Plastics News April 1995 ranking of top injection molders in North America, reporting injection molding-related sales of $70 million.