ISELIN, N.J. - Engelhard Corp. will buy Mearl Corp., a maker of pearlescent pigments and iridescent film, for $272.7 million. Engelhard, a public company, adds the business to its Iselin-based Pigments and Additives Group, with sales of more than $400 million a year. The purchase is pending government approval. Last year, privately held Mearl, based in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., recorded sales of $134 million, mainly in pearlescent pigments, used for manufacturing plastics, automotive and industrial paints, coatings, packaging and cosmetics; and in iridescent film, used in the greeting card and gift-wrap markets. Engelhard will continue to market the products under the Mearl name.
Mearl has eight plants and two research labs in the United States, and seven sales sites worldwide. It employs about 800.
Engelhard produces color pigments, kaolin-based coating and extender pigments and specialized additives for plastics at plants in Louisville, Ky.; Sylmar, Calif.; Elyria, Ohio; and Gordon, Ga. It recently spent roughly $40 million to expand the Gordon facility.
Barry W. Perry is PAG vice president and general manager. The group employs 1,600. Iselin-based Engelhard comprises five other business groups: environmental technologies, petroleum catalysts, chemical catalysts, engineered materials and industrial commodities management.
Polyblend to expand resin capabilities
NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OHIO - Compounding newcomer Polyblend Technologies Inc. hopes to add a twin-screw extruder and expand into high-performance polymers next year.
The North Ridgeville firm began manufacturing late last year and has focused on small batches of commodity plastics such as vinyls, polyolefins, polyurethanes and ABS, said Sally Kline, president, co-founder and majority owner.
Kline and her partner, Tom Braden, left Geon Co. last year to start their own company because they felt small-lot customers do not get the level of service or fast turnaround they deserved, Kline said. Polyblend, incorporated in June, specializes in lots of 5,000-10,000 pounds. Its Farrel continuous mixer and Henschel high-intensity mixer make compounds incorporating fillers, colors and additives, and concentrates and masterbatches. Polyblend works with pellets and powders.
Rubatex Corp. cuts staff at Va. facility
BEDFORD, VA. - Closed-cell rubber and plastic foam producer Rubatex Corp. is investing in process improvements and ``making a lot of personnel changes'' at its main plant in Bedford, but it has not decided yet to commit to a three-year capital program at the sprawling facility, spokesman Jery Kirschke said.
Meanwhile, Rubatex still is negotiating with Uniroyal Technology Corp. to acquire its Ensolite closed-cell foam division, which makes rubber and plastic foam products in Mishawaka, Ind., Kirschke said.
Rubatex recently fired 14 Bedford employees, including some managers, for undisclosed reasons. Kirschke indicated more employees would be removed as Rubatex tries to improve worker performance. The company appointed a new plant manager, Steve Turner, who joined Rubatex from Dayco in January.
Rubatex uses rubber, vinyl and other plastics in its operations in Bedford and in Conover, N.C., and Colt, Ark.
Ussery to make recommendations to EPA
WASHINGTON - Beacon Plastics Inc.'s Harry Ussery will be a ``stakeholder representative'' on the ``Enterprise for the Environment,'' a new organization dedicated to recommending statutory changes to the federal EPA.
Ussery, president of the Greenville, S.C., firm, is Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. board treasurer and one of only four small-business representatives on the new forum, according to Washington-based SPI.
The initiative is headed by William D. Ruckelshaus, chairman of Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. and a former EPA administrator. Funding for the project comes through the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and the National Academy of Public Administration.
Maureen Healey, SPI director, federal affairs for environment and transportation, said only a plenary session of the new forum had been held. Ussery is scheduled to attend four to six sessions of the new group this year and participate when it makes specific recommendations to Congress early next year.