RJF International Corp. in Fairlawn, Ohio, is on the growth course managers envisioned when they bought the custom extruder seven years ago from BFGoodrich Co. Including the mid-October purchase of Industrial Enterprises Inc., a vinyl wallcovering maker in Louisville, Ky., with about $10 million in annual sales, RJF has bought four companies since launching an aggressive acquisition strategy 18 months ago.
John Baechle, RJF's president and chief operating officer, said the acquisitions have targeted firms that help RJF enhance its position in commercial wallcoverings and PVC sheet and strip products for industrial doors.
RJF also makes industrial matting, magnetic sheeting, and polymer and rubber linings that protect metal from corrosion.
The acquisition spree started in April 1994 with the purchase of A.R. Nelson Co. of Muncy, Pa., a marketer of wall protection products such as door frame protectors and corner guards. That company serves the commercial, industrial and health-care markets.
In January, RJF bought the Astraglas business unit of HPG International Inc. of Mountaintop, Pa., and merged its operations with an existing RJF division. Astraglas makes PVC sheet and strip products.
And in February, RJF bought the Vicrtex Wallcovering division of Forbo Industries Inc. in Hazelton, Pa.
Forbo Industries is part of Forbo Holding AG of Eglisau, Swit-zerland.
RJF was formed when former Goodrich executive Richard J. Fasenmyer led a management buyout of Goodrich's fabricated polymer business. Fasenmyer is the company's chairman and chief executive.
RJF spent its first few years as an independent company putting together a strategic plan, Baechle said. That plan included growth through strategic acquisition.
The strategy has been paying off, according to Baechle.
``We've been doing extraordinarily well,'' he said, noting that RJF's annual sales have doubled since the business was taken private in 1988, and now exceed $100 million.
Baechle said the company has 700 employees, about half of whom are based at RJF's main production plant in Marietta, Ohio. He said the company has added five employees to its Fairlawn headquarters staff of 70 as a result of the recent acquisitions.