Fiberite Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire a French bulk molding compounder in a deal that will broaden its product line, particularly for automotive applications. ``Many of our customers want us to get into bulk molding compounds,'' said Dale Brosius, marketing manager.
Fiberite, which announced the signing March 14, plans to buy the equipment, formulations and other assets of the Simmaco subsidiary of Sofremi SA, a manufacturer of oil field and chemical plant equipment.
Simmaco's 20,000-square-foot plant and Sofremi's facility are located on adjacent lots in Corcelles-Les-Lens in the Pas-de-Calais region in northern France.
Simmaco employs 15, manufactures engineering-grade BMC from vinyl ester and polyester resins and fiberglass reinforcement and supplies the materials to transportation, electrical, ap-pliance and construction markets in Europe.
Sofremi formed the compounder in 1987 as a result of a relationship with Simmaco technical director Lionel Landru, who will continue with the business.
Fiberite, based in Tempe, Ariz., supplies short- and long-fiber- reinforced molding compounds using phenolic, epoxy, bismaleimide, melamine and silicone resins from facilities in Winona, Minn., and Delano, Pa., and could use Simmaco's technology in one of those plants. Other Fiberite operations are in Greenville, Texas; Orange, Calif.; and Ostringen, Germany.
Fiberite management expects to complete final negotiations and submit the Simmaco acquisition for board consideration in early May.
A partnership of DLJ Merchant Banking of New York and Carlisle Enterprises LP of La Jolla, Calif., acquired Fiberite from Imperial Chemical Industries plc on Oct. 6 for about $115 million.
Fiberite is completing due-diligence to purchase Hercules Inc.'s composite products division for about $135 million in a deal announced Dec. 21.