Hoechst AG has boosted its North American compounding business by purchasing a Midwest firm and an East Coast company that it will add to its masterbatches strategic business unit. The Frankfurt am Main, Germany, materials giant said July 2 that the purchases will boost its presence in North America, which it called the world's largest market for color concentrates. A Hoechst official said last fall in a K'95 interview that his company planned to expand its concentrates business in this market.
Hoechst's sales of color concentrates exceed $350 million a year but were focused on Europe and Asia, it noted in a news release. Its masterbatches unit employs about 1,600 at 24 manufacturing plants. Hoechst spokeswoman Ursula Tober said Hoechst has a small masterbatch operation in Coventry, R.I.
``The U.S. market was missing from our portfolio,'' Tober said in a telephone interview from Germany. She added that Hoechst planned to expand its masterbatch business in North America but she could not say if that will be through internal expansion or acquisition.
Hoechst bought Polymer Color Inc. of McHenry, Ill., on July 1, about six weeks after it acquired Milford, Del.-based Plastic Materials Co. Officials did not disclose terms of the deals.
Polymer Color makes thermoplastic color concentrates for injection molding, extrusion, fibers and packaging. It had 1995 sales of $18 million and expects to increase revenue to about $21 million this year. It uses polyolefins, styrenics, PVC and engineering resins, including nylon and PET.
It produces concentrates in McHenry, which it is expanding this year, and in Evansville, Ind. Polymer Color also is building a new plant in Henderson, Ky., this year and plans to establish another one in Minnesota, said Pres-ident Ben Mady.
Mady owned more than 80 percent of Polymer Color, established in 1984. Hoechst offered an attractive price for the company, and its marketing and technology strategies are synergistic with Polymer Color's, he explained by telephone from McHenry.
Plastic Materials Co., founded in 1970, had sales of $10 million in 1995, mainly in engineering resins for injection molding and color concentrates, said Dirk Gley-steen, assistant general manager. The company predicts a 10 percent sales hike this year.
PMC former owner Joe Warnell sold the business and retired. His son Paul Warnell will manage the business under contract to Hoechst.
Hoechst stated it will transfer existing compounding production lines at its Coventry, R.I., facility to PMC's site. Gleysteen said the two twin-screw extruders being moved from Coventry should by running at Milford by late summer. Tober said the move will not affect other Hoechst operations in Coventry.