Vinyl Plastics Inc. of Sheboygan, Wis., will more than double in size and add to its lineup of sheet products with the acquisition of American Mirrex Corp. ``We believe we will be the only company to offer polystyrene, [glycol-modified PET] and PVC to the market,'' said R. Bruce Grover, Vinyl Plastics' owner, president and chief executive officer.
Grover and Len York, Mirrex president and CEO since August, announced that a Dec. 11 letter of intent calls for VPI to acquire 100 percent of Mirrex's stock. Terms were not disclosed. The firms expect to complete the deal in February.
``The strategic fit is an excellent one,'' Grover said in a telephone interview, ``and we expect the new relationship to be a positive one for customers.''
New York's Butler Chapman brokered the deal after making the industry aware of Mirrex's availability in recent months. Sellers include Merrill Lynch & Co.'s investment bank in New York and Compas Investment Ltd. in London.
Grover said annual sales of the new organization will exceed $200 million. VPI anticipates 1996 sales of about $95 million, and Mirrex of New Castle, Del., expects $106 million.
Ben Harff founded the Wisconsin company in 1946 as Natural Products Inc., but efforts to produce vinyl sheet soon turned to making vinyl floor tile. The name was changed to Vinyl Plastics in 1951, and the firm has grown prodigiously in recent years, now occupying 270,000 square feet and renting warehouse space.
Grover joined the company in 1970 and has been the sole owner since 1991.
Operations, all in Wisconsin, employ 400 and include approximately equal divisions for floor products in a Sheboygan facility, contract manufacturing in Manitowoc and sheet products in Sheboygan Falls and a small division for medical products in another Sheboygan site.
Mirrex traces its roots to 1965, as a joint venture of Germany's Hoechst AG and Stauffer Chemical Corp. of Cleveland. Stauffer sold its interest to Hoechst in 1971. Mirrex, then Hoechst Celanese's film division, underwent a leveraged buyout in 1989.
Business inconsistencies have prompted a succession of management changes, but Mirrex, now employing 425, appears to be stabilized as it prepares to become part of VPI. Mirrex divisions include a 180,000-square-foot rigid vinyl facility in Delaware City, Del., with four calendering lines, and a 106,000-square-foot Salisbury, Md., film and converting plant with one calendering line and printing, coating and laminating equipment. Vinyl Plastics sells about $35 million in PS and glycol-modified PET sheet for the food and medical packaging and graphic arts markets.
``With the addition of Delaware City [with sales of $75 million], we will offer vinyl sheet, which goes into those same markets and also to industrial packaging markets,'' Grover said.
The entity may compete more vigorously with Klockner Pentaplast of America Inc. of Gordonsville, Va.; the plastics operations of Clayton, Mo.-based Spartech Corp.; Primex Plastics Corp. of Richmond, Ind.; and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America of Livingston, N.J.