Timbron International, a new California-based holding company, has purchased a British firm that makes virgin and recycled-content polystyrene building materials. Timbron International, currently based in Eureka, Calif., plans to locate a manufacturing plant and headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., next year.
The holding company, which has about 20 partners, on Aug. 5 bought Timbron U.K. Ltd., a subsidiary of Glynwed International plc.
Terms were not disclosed.
Timbron U.K. of Coleshill, England, near Birmingham, reported sales last year of $2.5 million.
Robert Simpson, a former general manager of Louisiana-Pacific Corp.'s Western Division, is company president and chairman.
``At this point there are four main uses for Timbron,'' Simpson said.
``In the door-parts market, such as frames, [Timbron] works well where wood has a difficult time,'' Simpson said. "It is also used in what we call shop fitting. This is the trimming inside shopping malls and offices."
Simpson said it can be used as siding. And in the garden products industry it is used as lawn edgings and also simulates terra cotta, he said.
Simpson estimates the international potential for recycled PS, and ultimately the Timbron product, at $1 billion.
``Our goal is to give the government the incentive to say that PS is no longer accepted in any landfill. When PS is not allowed in any landfill ... around the world, then we'll get into another raw material,'' Simpson said.
He said Timbron's products look, feel and perform like finish-grade lumber.
The company plans to open its first U.S. plant, Timbron USA, in Sacramento during the second quarter of next year.
The Coleshill plant is considered a trial plant, according to Simpson.
The layout of the Sacramento plant will be determined by how well the set-up works at the Coleshill plant.
Although Timbron officials are still negotiating the details of the location in Sacramento, Simpson said the plant will be 35,000-45,000 square feet and will extrude 11 million to 15 million pounds per year on 10 lines. It initially will have about 40 employees.
The company's long-term plan is to franchise the process internationally and open four additional plants in the United States.
The company has a license agreement in Kao-hsuing, Taiwan, and is negotiating with companies in France, China, Czechoslovakia and the Philippines.
``We'll franchise out everywhere but in the U.S.,'' Simpson said.
``Our business plan is to grow this company rapidly. In order to do this, we must utilize the company's working capital in the U.S. market.
"We will engage franchise partners who have the financial means to expand our international market,'' Simpson said.