Schuller International Inc. will grow its billion-dollar insulation and building products business by buying Imcoa Inc., an extruder of polyethylene foam pipe and duct insulation for commercial and industrial plumbing applications. Imcoa, based in Bartlesville, Okla., will complement Schuller's current capabilities for manufacturing fiberglass and calcium silicate pipe insulations. PE foam is widely used in lower-temperature plumbing applications.
The firms expect the deal to close later this month. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Imcoa sells its products to commercial, industrial and residential markets through distributors. Last year the company relocated from Fort Worth, Texas, to the newly built, 100,000-square-foot facility in Bartlesville, said Schuller spokeswoman Sharon Sweet.
Sweet said Schuller expects to keep Imcoa's 85 employees. In 1995, privately held Imcoa had sales of about $10 million, according to Sweet.
``We're hoping to double the sales size of that operation over several years,'' she said. That strategy may include expanding the Bartlesville plant.
Last year Schuller's mechanical insulation sales, which include pipe and duct insulation, were about $130 million, Sweet said. The Denver-based firm makes fiberglass pipe insulation at plants in Defiance, Ohio, and Corona, Calif.; and PVC jacketing in Denver and Edison, N.J.
Bob Simpson, Imcoa's president, said Schuller is not the first firm to express interest in buying Imcoa.
``We had been contacted in the past,'' he said. ``This is the first company that had significant synergies with our operation that would allow [Imcoa] significant growth.''
Schuller expects those synergies to enhance its market position in plumbing insulation, which is part of its Building Products segment. That segment, which also includes building and roofing insulations, was strengthened last month by the purchase of NRG Barriers Inc., a Portland, Maine, maker of polyisocyanurate foam roofing insulation.
Schuller acquired NRG - with roughly $150 million in sales - for about $72 million in cash and undisclosed debt. Schuller said ISO foam is the largest and fastest growing segment of the domestic commercial and industrial roofing insulation market.
Schuller's other principal segment, Engineered Products, makes specialty insulation, air-filtration media and continuous filament fiberglass-based products used for reinforcing roofing, flooring and plastic products. In April, Schuller International's public parent, Manville Corp., changed its name to Schuller Corp. The firm employs about 7,900 and operates 50 plants worldwide. Sales for 1995 were $1.4 billion.