The largest ABS pipe extruder in North America will be created when Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Pipe Co. buys Colby Plastic Converters Inc., according to Rocky Mountain. Michael Ross, a co-owner of Rocky Mountain Pipe, said the new company, called Rocky Mountain Colby Pipe Co., will have about one-third of the North American market for ABS pipe used for drain, waste and vent applications. Projects 1996 sales are more than $32 million, all from ABS pipe extruded at the Rocky Mountain plant in Denver and Colby's Pendleton, Ore., factory, he said. Both factories make foamed-core coextruded ABS pipe.
``The combined entity will be the single-largest producer of ABS pipe in the North American continent,'' Ross said.
The new company will employ 44 and will run 10 extrusion lines.
The company's ABS-only stance could be changing. Officials of Rocky Mountain Colby Pipe are studying whether to expand into other materials and other markets beyond drain/waste/vent.
Ross said potential new products include chlorinated PVC., cross-linked polyethylene and PVC. A decision on those products is expected within the next 12 months, Ross said. The company could enter these markets through developing the technology in-house or acquiring other pipe makers, he said.
Rocky Mountain Pipe signed a letter of intent to buy Colby in October. The deal with scheduled to close Feb. 29. Terms were not disclosed.
``This is a strategic acquisition because we felt it would enable us to better serve our market area, which extends from Kansas all the way to the West Coast,'' Ross said.
Bruce Brenier, president of Colby Plastic, will remain with the company as executive vice president. The acquisition will make Rocky Mountain Colby ``more of a national company,'' he said.
Both companies tout their quality control, and both were active in crating in 1994 an ABS Industry Group to promote the pipe. Ross said those efforts will continue.
Ross also is chairman of PVC compounder Roscom Inc. of Croyden, Pa. He said Roscom does not compound PVC for pipe.
Besides Ross, the other two owners of Rocky Mountain Pipe are Andrew and Melvin Greene of Denver.