HOUSTON - North American Technologies Group Inc. has purchased the assets of a Houston recycler and maker of plastic railroad ties, porous pipe and synthetic construction material. Gaia Holdings Inc., a fledgling company with projected 1996 sales of $4 million, becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of North American, a venture capital company that targets small energy and environmental firms with ``proven technology,'' Donovan Boyd, North American chief executive officer, said Jan. 24.
Under the agreement, North American assumes all assets of Gaia, including plant, equipment, patents and about 12 employees. It has changed the acquired company's name to Gaia Technologies Inc.
Gaia's product line includes porous plastic irrigation piping, air conditioner base pads, and other products made from crumb rubber and recycled high density polyethylene. The company also has begun testing and manufacturing synthetic railroad crossties made of the same materials.
Boyd said using crumbed rubber consumes discarded tires and adds structural strength.
North American seeks out prospective companies with assets in the range of $25 million to $50 million. Such firms, Boyd said, often are overlooked by traditional venture capitalists, who steer toward companies with assets exceeding $100 million.
``We buy them, invest in them and help them grow to what they can be,'' Boyd said.