One man's failure is another man's opportunity. That is the philosophical approach the owners of InteSys Technologies Inc. of Gilbert, Ariz., pursued in their purchase of the injection molding unit of Cimco Inc., the Costa Mesa, Calif., firm whose recent history included financial troubles and internal strife between the former owner, the board of directors and stockholders.
``It boils down to seeing the opportunities that exist there,'' said Nicholas Smeed, InteSys vice president of human resources and corporate development.
Smeed also is one of the six original majority owners who acquired InteSys from DSM NV in 1992.
InteSys purchased the Cimco molding unit from Cleveland's M.A. Hanna Co., which bought Cimco in January for its Compounding Technology Inc. division. Cimco's molding operations will be renamed InteSys Technologies West Inc.
Smeed said the assets include some real estate, machinery and equipment. Although some of the 80 presses are older, Smeed said they have been maintained exceptionally well.
The real estate includes the two original buildings where the company began, across the street from the current main manufacturing facility. One houses Medical Molding Corp. of America, which molds custom medical components and proprietary respiratory devices, and the other houses the tool shop and some value-added operations. Also included in the real estate is a 114,000-square-foot molding plant in Dayton, Nev.
Cimco operates out of five buildings in the Costa Mesa complex, with three of those, including the main manufacturing facility, leased from Mesa Leasing Co. Mesa is a partnership between Cimco and Russell T. Gilbert, former president and chief executive officer of Cimco.
However, the status of that partnership and the question of who exactly is the sole general partner in Mesa Leasing Co. is being disputed in a lawsuit filed in March by Gilbert against Hanna. Gilbert wanted to repurchase the molding unit from Hanna, but negotiations broke down, and Gilbert filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Hanna.
Smeed would not comment on that suit, saying only that any dispute Gilbert has is ``strictly between Hanna and Mr. Gilbert,'' and that it has no effect on InteSys' asset purchase agreement with Hanna.
Smeed said InteSys is looking at all its options with regard to the various facilities, and will determine at a later date whether to consolidate operations into another leased or purchased facility, or move the operations from Costa Mesa to the Dayton plant, which now houses 20 presses.
``This entire deal has been fast-tracked and there's still a lot of decisions that we have yet to make regarding the company,'' Smeed said.
InteSys' strategy in purchasing the assets of Cimco is to achieve greater diversification. InteSys primarily serves the automotive and telecommunications industries.
In a December interview, Inte-Sys President Greg Layne ac-knowledged that 1996 would be a slow year for the telecommunications industry due to large inventories and lower-than-expected demand for cellular telephones, particularly in the U.S. market. InteSys is a major supplier to Motorola Inc.
``This will help us get diversified quicker than we would have otherwise,'' Smeed said, adding that Cimco has ``a pretty good, solid base of customers'' that will provide partnership opportunities. He declined to name any of the customers.
InteSys' growth has come largely from contract manufacturing. InteSys offers tool design and building, molding, and extensive secondary and assembly operations, which allows it to supply finished goods to its customers.
Besides the Gilbert, Ariz., operation, which employs 900, InteSys has an arrangement with Offshore International, a shelter operator in Tucson, Ariz., that runs an industrial park near Guaymas, Mexico. The assembly operation, started during the fourth quarter of last year, employs about 100.
Smeed said the facility may add custom molding, which is ``conspicuously absent down there.''
``They need the technology for custom molding, and we'll be assessing at a later date how much we'll get into that market,'' he said.
Cimco now employs about 350. Smeed said no decision has been made on how many will be retained after InteSys takes over the operations.
``Anything we do, we'll do it very gradually,'' he said. ``We plan to spend a great deal of time talking with employees and [we will] see what they think.''
Smeed added that InteSys plans to operate the Costa Mesa plant as a separate company until the owners can make ``some good, solid decisions about employment.''
Although neither Hanna nor InteSys would comment on the sales price, Smeed said that Berkshire Partners Inc. of Boston, a minority partner in InteSys, helped the company obtain financing. The deal is expected to close June 25 or 26.
InteSys ranked 24th on Plastics News' 1996 survey of North American injection molders, with related sales of $126 million, up from $87 million the previous year. Cimco ranked 109th in the survey, with related sales of $38.2 million.