TOKYO - Japan's film giant Toray Industries Inc. formally announced May 13 the purchase of the plastic film business of Rhone-Poulenc SA of Lyon, France. First reported in January, the purchase, for 17 billion yen ($161.8 million), will make Toray one of the largest producers of polyester film in the world, and will boost its capacity for polyester film production by about 60 million pounds per year.
Rhone-Poulenc had about $135 million in sales in the last fiscal year, and is a leader in making film for magnetic recording and industrial packaging.
To support the purchase, Toray will spend about $120 million to add one polyester film line and one oriented polypropylene line at its North Kingstown, R.I., plant. The plant is Toray's only North American film production facility, and currently has two OPP and one polyester film lines. Both new lines are expected to begin operation by early 1997.
The Tokyo firm operates two plants in Japan, and one in Bangkok, Thailand, but all are primarily OPP facilities.
Wheaton acquisition gets approval
Millville, N.J.- The $400 million acquisition of Wheaton Inc. by Alusuisse-Lonza Holding Ltd. was completed May 23.
Millville-based Wheaton, a leading producer of specialty glass and plastic packaging, with 5,700 workers and 40 production sites, will become part of Zurich-based A-L.
Alusuisse, with annual sales of about $6 billion, operates in glass and plastic packaging, chemical production, and aluminum. Its other holdings in North America include Therma Plate Inc. and Lawson Mardon Packaging Inc.
Rubberlite expands warehouse capacity
HUNTINGTON, W.VA. - Rubberlite Inc. of Huntington, a converter and distributor of rubber and cellular plastic, expanded its facility in December.
The firm received a $498,000 loan from the West Virginia Economic Development Author-ity for the expansion. Besides installing a loading dock and sprinkler system, Rubberlite bought 1.4 acres on which it added 25,000 square feet of warehouse and parking space.
Mike Strickland, vice president of sales, said this is Rubberlite's third major expansion. The company began in 1987 with three employees in the original 70,000-square-foot facility. The firm now has 126,000 square feet and 110 employees. According to a news release issued by the Economic Development Authority, the company will add about 40 employees during the next three years.
Rubberlite sells cross-linked polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate for conversion into parts for insulation applications, gaskets and consumer goods.
Polaris makes move to bigger facility
RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, CALIF. - Dip molder Polaris Plastics Inc. recently moved cross-town to a new, 45,000-square-foot facility, nearly doubling production space.
The privately owned company employs 40 and recorded sales of $4 million in 1995, said marketing director Andy Foster.
The firm now is at 18704 S. Ferris in Rancho Dominguez, tel. (310) 537-2300; fax (310) 537-7770.