Tredegar Industries Inc. of Richmond, Va., said it may sell its Molded Products Co. subsidiary, a multiplant custom injection molding operation that operates in the packaging, pharmaceutical, medical, and electronic markets. Tredegar said July 27 that it hired Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., a Charlotte, N.C., investment banking firm, to in-vestigate the possible divestiture of the molding operation. No timetable was set for the sale of the business.
The Molded Products unit has been showing improvement in sales and operating profit results in recent months, said Tredegar spokesman Edward A. Cunningham. The company also may decide to retain the molding operation, he added.
``We're going to continue running the business as usual,'' he said.
Through the first six months of 1995, Molded Products reported sales of $45.1 million, Tredegar said. If that rate of growth continues, the subsidiary easily could eclipse last year's total sales of $76.6 million.
Molded Products was 41st on Plastic News' 1995 ranking of top injection molders in North America.
The possible sale of the molding business would include associated tooling operations. Trede-gar does not break out revenues from the tool-building business.
Molded Products has eight plants in the eastern United States. It currently is ramping up production for its newest plant, a $6.3 million facility in Graham, N.C.
Cunningham said strong results from Molded Products were a key factor in Tredegar turning in record financial results in the second quarter. The company reported sales from continuing operations of $149.7 million, up 22 percent from the $122.9 million in sales a year earlier.
During the past five years, Tredegar has been in a constant state of change, continually reviewing the mix of businesses it operates with an eye toward improving financial results.
In February, Tredegar replaced Molded Products General Manager William L. Driggers, who had been running the business since 1991, with David D. Reed, a former division president of a Tredegar coal mining operation that had been divested.
At the same time, Tredegar Chief Operating Officer Richard W. Goodrum, who has a background in plastics processing, assumed the title of division president of Molded Products.
Tredegar made the change because ``management was not satisfied with the performance'' of Molded Products under Driggers, said spokesman Thomas Phillips.
Tredegar was formed in 1989 when Ethyl Corp. spun off its plastics, aluminum and energy units to create an independent company. Since 1990, Tredegar has closed or sold 13 plants and narrowed its focus. Among the plastics markets it has exited are general-purpose films, automo-tive plastics and beverage closures.
Currently, Tredegar is focused primarily on the aluminum extrusions and specialty plastic films markets.
In films, the company's major areas of concentration are in diaper backsheets and applications in personal-care and medical products.
Tredegar's interest in selling the molding business is consistent with its tightening focus on film and extrusions, said Joe Antrim, a stock analyst with Davenport & Co. in Richmond.
``They have been focusing more and more on their film business,'' he said. ``This is just a continuation of that series of events.''