Expansion plans in the works since HPG International Inc. was formed in April 1994 will be getting a green light. The company announced it has secured a new lending arrangement with an affiliate of Industrial Bank of Japan for a $28 million line of credit.
HPG, headquartered in Somerset, N.J., was formed when managers and investors in Hals America, a division of Huls AG of Marl, Germany, purchased the parent company's American film and sheet business.
The company has signed a three-year revolving line of credit and equipment loans with I.B.J. Schroder Bank & Trust Co. of New York, said Neil Abitabilo, HPG senior vice president.
The signing of a new lender replaces a relationship with Gibralter Corp. of America.
``It does two things for us,'' Abitabilo said. ``For a customer, it gives us the ability to invest in inventory, which will help us in a distribution sense.
``In relation to capital investment, there is an equipment line, which is something that the company did not have as a separate feature [with its previous lender]. It gives us the ability to more easily invest in capital improvements.''
Abitabilo declined to identify specific new projects the firm will undertake as a result of the new investment relationship.
The company also has completed a new three-year contract with the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union that includes higher wages for 200 employees at the HPG manufacturing facility in Mountaintop, Pa. Abitabilo declined to elaborate on the differences between the previous OCAW contract and the new arrangement.
HPG employs about 300, including 35-40 at its headquarters and as many as 60 in technical and sales positions in the field, Abitabilo said.
HPG manufactures calendered flexible and rigid PVC as thick as one-half inch, thermoplastic roofing membranes; extruded PP from one-quarter-inch to 1-inch thick; and specialty wall and floor systems.
With $81 million in sheet sales, HPG ranked 12th on Plastics News' list of sheet manufacturers in the United States, published in September. Total sales are more than $94 million, a spokeswoman said.