Summa Industries Inc. will acquire LexaLite International Corp., a private manufacturer of plastic parts for lighting fixtures, via a stock exchange. LexaLite, with close to $34 million in annual sales, would be Summa's second plastics holding, but its first in-house molding operation, said James R. Swartwout, Summa's chairman and chief executive.
Pending stockholders' ap-proval, Summa, a public holding company based in Fullertown, Calif., will swap 11/2 shares of its own stock for each share of Lexa-Lite. Swartwout expects the deal to close by November.
Summa plans to build its plastics technology prowess by acquiring companies, like LexaLite, with strong market positions and molding and tooling know-how, he said in a May 14 telephone interview.
The public firm also owns KVP Systems Inc. of Rancho Cordova, Calif., which manufactures injection molded plastic parts for modular conveyors, mainly for materials-handling equipment manufacturers. But that company outsources all its molding, Swartwout said.
For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, KVP contributed $6.6 million to Summa's $10.2 million in business.
The plastics unit has continued to boost the parent's sales, Swartwout said. For the first half of 1996, ended Feb. 29, Summa's sales rose $888,000, or 18 percent, compared to the same period for the year before, mainly because of KVP's increased business.
Swartwout said LexaLite's capabilities could benefit KVP or other, future Summa divisions. Meanwhile the firm will support LexaLite's continuing capital investments, such as a $2.5 million equipment upgrade at its Charlevoix, Mich., and Dickson, Tenn., plants.
``Probably the principal benefit that Summa brings to the table is the ability to raise capital to ensure [LexaLite] can continue to expand,'' Swartwout said.
``It's an excellent company that has established a position of leadership in its business. It has a great deal of plastic molding technology ... soft assets, or expertise and knowledge in the molding and tooling area - that is what we want to expand in our company,'' he said.
All LexaLite employees
continue with the firm, including its president, Thomas M. Phillips, who called the transaction ``more like a merger than a sale.''
He noted that the merger allows LexaLite to maintain its Employee Stock Ownership Pro-gram, which now holds 35 percent of its outstanding shares.
LexaLite employs about 275 at four sites. Those comprise three facilities in Charlevoix, Mich. - a headquarters plant, which houses both injection molding and mold making; a new scientific center; and a lighting research center for product design and development - and a plant in Dixon.