Acquisition-minded U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. purchased Recycled Plastic Industries of Green Bay, Wis., at the end of January after six months of talks.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
RPI was attractive because of its ``expertise and skills in vacuum-calibrated continuous extrusion,'' said Mark Alsentzer, president and chief executive officer.
``In the industry, they are known for their quality and consistency.''
He added that the process is less labor-intensive and therefore more efficient. Where PLC is able, the company wants to implement the technology into its own production.
With one plant, 25 employees and three extrusion lines, RPI had sales between $3 million and $4 million last year. The firm, now a wholly owned subsidiary of PLC, also has 10-15 distribution centers around the country.
Like its parent company, RPI uses post-consumer and post-industrial high density polyethylene. RPI's extrusion process allows it to make plastic lumber in lengths in excess of 40 feet. These longer products are suitable for building and construction.
In contrast, PLC's manufacturing arm, Earth Care, injection molds products that are used to make furniture, park benches, picnic tables and trash receptacles. Earth Care, located in Blue Bell, Pa., operates PLC's plants and markets the products.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based PLC's extrusion plants — one located in Sharon, Tenn., and the other in Lake Odessa, Mich. — have a total of eight extrusion lines and about 130 employees. The firm can process about 10 million pounds per year. With this acquisition, PLC expects sales to be about $20 million this year.
This is the fifth acquisition for PLC since it became a public company in April, according to Alsentzer.
``We think this is an exciting industry,'' he said.
PLC was founded four years ago. It has an exclusive license with Rutgers University to manufacture a patented structural plastic lumber product with extra strength. In some applications, the lumber is stronger than wood or concrete and is used for railroad ties, telephone poles, marine bulkheads and sea pilings.
In addition to the recycled plastic lumber business, PLC also owns Clean Earth Inc., a firm that treats and recycles petroleum-contaminated soil and construction debris.