MEXICO CITY - British automo-tive parts and engineering group T&N plc has sold compounder and industrial polymer producer BIP Plastics Ltd. to another British company for US$81 million. The sale to Advent International, a private equity, London-based investor, is part of T&N's non-core business disposal program. The manufacture of aluminum vehicle engine components makes up 70 percent of its sales.
The cash deal was due to be completed by the end of September. T&N said it will use the proceeds to reduce debt.
BIP Plastics, based in Birmingham, England, comprises three firms in Cheshire and the West Midlands in the United Kingdom - BIP Plastics, BIP Specialty Resins and BIP Organics; Chem Polymer Corp. of Fort Myers, Fla.; and BIP Plastics de Mexico SA de CV in Mexico City.
BIP produces amino molding powders, polyester molding compounds, engineering thermoplastics, composites and coating, and other resins. Its companies employ 800.
Since the mid-1970s, T&N's plastics businesses have concentrated on developing a specialized range of compounds. Initially based on nylon 6 and nylon 6/6, the range later added thermoplastic polyesters such as PET and polybutylene terephthalate, according to T&N.
Customers include makers of plastic automotive components, electrical goods, hand tools, curtain tracks and hi-fi equipment.
In 1994, BIP companies earned pretax profits of US$6.3 million.
``We are very pleased with this move. BIP is a strong business but is no longer core for T&N,'' according to Colin Hope, BIP chairman.
T&N retains several plastics-related firms. In the United Kingdom, these include Mawson Taylor Ltd. and Triton Plastics Ltd., compression and injection molders specializing in molding from polyester sheet and phenolic molding compounds.
In the United States, T&N retains industrial polymer producer and compounder Budd Chemical at Carney's Point, N.J.