DALLAS — Eljer Industries Inc., the Dallas-based parent of former polybutylene pipe maker U.S. Brass, is being sold. Zurn Industries Inc. of Erie, Pa., plans to acquire Eljer's 7.15 million shares of stock at about $24 a share, for a total of $170.4 million, an Eljer news release said. U.S. Brass several years ago was hit with thousands of lawsuits filed by homeowners claiming damages for leaking PB pipe systems. The Commerce, Texas, pipe maker also faced litigation from PB resin supplier Shell Oil Co., and from Hoechst Celanese Corp., which supplied acetal for its pipe fittings.
In April, Shell stopped supplying PB pipe resin, prompting U.S. Brass and other domestic PB pipe extruders to switch to cross-linked polyethylene.
In 1995 Eljer reported sales of $397.4 million for plumbing, heating and ventilation products. The firm does not break out sales for U.S. Brass, which extrudes cross-linked PE pipe and injection molds fittings from acetal and other materials at plants in Commerce and Elkhart, Ind.
Zurn also makes fire protection systems and provides water resource construction services. It expects sales of $421 million for 1996. The company commenced its tender offer for Eljer's stock Dec. 20, and will finance it through cash and loans. Both companies' boards approved the transaction.
OTTAWA — Canada has imposed temporary duties as high as 153 percent on imports of polyisocyanurate thermal insulation board from the United States. The country's Revenue Canada department in Ottawa ruled Dec. 12 that U.S. imports of the insulation were dumped in Canada at prices as much as 60.5 percent below normal value in the first half of 1996.
It will make a final determination of injury and anti-dumping duties within 120 days. See Plastics News' Web site at http://www.plasticsnews.com for more on this story.
NEW BRIGHTON, PA. — Tuscarora Inc. may purchase an expanded polystyrene foam molding business in Brazil from BASF AG.
The New Brighton-based publicly held firm said it and BASF will study development of the EPS molding business in Brazil. The companies' pact includes an option for Tuscarora to buy an EPS molding business, which includes four plants, from BASF South America, headquartered in SÃo Paulo, Brazil.
Tuscarora spokesman Brian Mullins said BASF does not want to be in that business in Brazil in the long run. The study is to determine whether the business can stand alone and if Tuscarora should own and operate it. The agreement calls for a year-long study to be concluded by Dec. 31, 1997.
``The country is large enough and there's an emerging middle class buying the things we package, such as electronics and appliances,'' said Mullins. ``We need to be where they are.''
BASF of Ludwigshafen, Germany, supplies EPS bead. Tuscarora has 32 plants in the United States, Mexico and Europe.
HEATH, OHIO — After several false starts, Quantum Chemical Co. has sold its Heath high density polyethylene recycling plant and equipment to Fix-Corp International Inc. for $3.4 million.
Fix-Corp expects the 50,000-square-foot plant to generate $15 million in annual sales. The newly formed subsidiary will have about 30 employees and be named Fixcor Industries Inc.
Mark Fixler, Fix-Corp president and chief executive officer, said the plant will clean, grind and repelletize post-consumer HDPE. The plant's capacity is about 40 million pounds per year. Eventually, Fixcor plans to make its own end product.
Gary De Laurentiis will run the Fixcor operation. Fix-Corp is based in Beachwood, Ohio; Quantum is in Cincinnati.
ROGERS, ARK. — Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. on Dec. 15 experienced yet another fire at its Rogers plant. Damage estimates were not available.
This is the fourth time in three years AERT has had a fire at one of its plants. The Springdale, Ark.-based lumber company recently restarted operations in Rogers following a Sept. 1 fire. That fire was determined by an independent insurance investigator to be arson, according to the company. The origins of the other fires remain undetermined, the company said.