Worthington Industries Inc. announced last week that it signed an agreement to purchase the assets of Plastics Manufacturing Inc. in Harrisburg, N.C., for an undisclosed sum. The deal will boost Worthington's injection molding sales, particularly in markets beyond its automotive mainstay, and add industrial thermoforming to its manufacturing mix.
Worthington Custom Plastics, a unit of the Columbus, Ohio-based publicly held firm, was ninth in Plastics News' 1996 ranking of North American injection molders, with related sales of $302 million. Plastics make up about 40 percent of Worthington Industries' total sales, the balance is generated from sales of steel and metal components.
The majority of Worthington's plastics sales are from large, injection molded components for the automotive industry, according to spokesman Dennis Minshell.
PMI is one of the largest manufacturers of plastic injection molded and thermoformed parts in the southeastern United States. The firm was 82nd in Plastics News' injection molders ranking with related sales of $52 million. It also was 29th in Plastics News' 1996 ranking of North American thermoformers, with sales of $27 million.
``The purchase of PMI allows us to expand into areas we're not currently involved in,'' Minshell said. PMI's markets include the business equipment, com-mercial airline and medical industries.
PMI has about 860 employees. Minshell said the company is not planning personnel changes at this time.
Minshell said Worthington will continue to expand its plastics processing businesses, and believes that the PMI acquisition is one that ``we can grow really well'' in a geographic area where markets are strong. Worthington is especially excited about obtaining thermoforming capabilities, and serving additional markets with that process, he said.
``This acquisition will be a great addition to our plastics business,'' John P. McConnell, chairman and chief executive officer of Worthington, said in a news release. ``It significantly broadens our customer base into new and growing markets.''
Worthington Custom Plastics group Vice President John Halula said, ``It expands our product line and brings us new capabilities, enhancing our position as one of the country's top integrated plastics manufacturers.''
Public companies are not required to release the value of acquisitions that are less than 10 percent of total assets. Worthington has total assets of $1.3 billion, which means the cost of acquiring PMI is less than $130 million.
Following the acquisition, Worthington Industries will operate 60 facilities in 22 states, Canada, Mexico, France and China; employ about 11,000; and have annual sales of $1.9 billion.