An Ohio real estate investment trust is jumping into the manufacturing business by buying Navi-star International Corp.'s Colum-bus Plastics sheet molding components operation. Publicly traded Rymac Mort-gage Investment Corp., headquartered in Steubenville, and Navi-star, a Chicago-based maker of trucks, buses and diesel engines, said they expect to close the sale by the end of summer. Terms were not revealed.
Columbus Plastics, based in Columbus, Ohio, has 480 employees and posted sales of about $65 million in 1995.
While 60 percent of its sales are to Navistar, for which it makes large sheet molding compound parts for use in heavy trucks, Columbus Plastics also makes components for General Motors Corp. cars and Yamaha jet water-ski products from SMC.
Richard Conte, Rymac chairman and chief executive officer, said in a May 16 telephone interview from his office in Pittsburgh that he plans to combine Columbus Plastics' successful manufacturing operations with his company's financial acumen, access to public ownership, available cash and a $36 million tax loss carryforward.
Conte said the acquisition was based on his company's decision to redirect its assets and to take advantage of its recent losses in the mortgage securities markets.
Rymac went public with a $60 million market capitalization offer in 1988 and, until mid-1992, provided its shareholders yields of 15-20 percent, Conte said.
However, a drop in mortgage interest rates in late 1992 cut his company's yields dramatically, leading to losses and the decision to take a new direction, he said. The company now has a net worth of $6.2 million in highly liquid assets, Conte said.
He said managers of the company will remain in place to operate the facility while Rymac will provide financial assistance and board-level management. Also, he said he expects contracts with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Work-ers Local 1471 to remain in place.
Conte said his company's redirection includes consideration of new names that reflect its businesses and, he added, the parent company may take the Columbus Plastics name for itself.
He said the company will make further announcements about its plans when the sale is consummated.
In a prepared statement, Navi-star said the sale of Columbus Plastics, founded in 1981, will permit it to focus on its core business of assembling trucks and building truck engines.
Navistar reports sales of $6.34 billion a year.