Tradesco Mold Ltd. has been sold to investors that include an existing management group. The new owners have ambitious growth plans in North America and abroad. Tradesco's founder, Nick Travaglini, and President Gary Vandenberk plan to retire in the next 12 months.
The Rexdale, Ontario, firm specializes in injection molds and hot-runner systems for high-volume applications, primarily in the packaging industry.
The company, founded in 1976, was sold to Castle Harlan Inc., a New York merchant bank, and the existing management group at Tradesco, including David Brown, vice president of sales and marketing, and Peter Faustino, vice president of manufacturing, and several others.
Brown, who declined to disclose the purchase price, said the two senior shareholders began looking at retirement at a time when the company also needed to expand.
Two years ago the challenge for them became ``retirement vs. growth,'' said Brown, adding that Tradesco's sales had doubled in less than three years at that point.
``We had numerous people willing to walk in and take the company over,'' said Brown, ``but the owners wanted to maintain the management and the business philosophy that brought the company through 20 years of growth.''
The company settled on Castle Harlan as an equity partner to provide the capital needed for growth, while at the same time allowing management to remain in place with an equity stake.
The company developed and is a leader in the production of stack molds.
Henry Rozema, vice president of engineering, claims the company built the first four-level stack mold.
``That's our area of expertise,'' he said.
Tradesco wants to expand into other industries requiring high-volume molding applications, and expand its mold repair and refurbishing capabilities.
However, Brown said the first project will be to double the size of its 55,000-square-foot facility, where it employs 110.
The company also plans to expand its global market. The company has facilities in the Middle East and Malaysia.
According to Brown, the company has moved into putting together complete systems, offering customers the option of integrating their molds with the molding machine and handling equipment of their choice, providing a customized package.
``We're always trying to do something new in our mold product line, but not a great departure from what we currently do,'' Brown said in a recent telephone interview. ``We just plan to expand on what we do well.''