Investment firm Trivest Inc. has expanded its plastics portfolio and is looking for more.
The Miami-based company acquired a controlling interest in Jet Plastica Industries Inc., a major cutlery manufacturer, late last month for undisclosed terms. Trivest senior vice president Troy Templeton said his company is looking for more acquisition opportunities that would complement Jet Plastica.
``We like plastics,'' Templeton said in a telephone interview.
Jet Plastica injection molds disposable cutlery, tumblers and dinnerware, and extrudes drinking straws at plants in Hatfield, Pa., and Fowler, Calif. Templeton estimates its annual sales at about $65 million. It sells to institutional, fast-food and paper-distribution markets.
Templeton said Jet Plastica is profitable and its former owners, investors Al and Charles Tapper, sold the business for personal reasons. Jet Plastica management and BT Capital Partners Inc. of New York also bought significant interests in Jet Plastica.
Templeton said Jet Plastica will expand its production capacity and introduce more automation, especially for cutlery packaging. More customers demand packaged products for sanitary reasons and often want several packaged-cutlery combinations to serve with various meals. Jet Plastica already packages cutlery in plastic film packets, but needs to add machinery to keep up with growth in the business, Templeton said.
Trivest has interests in film producer and custom injection molder Atlantis Plastics Inc. of Atlanta, rotational molder Nowesco Inc. of St. Bonifacius, Minn., plastisol producer Rutland Plastics of Pineville, N.C., and thermoformer Penda Corp. of Portage, Wis.
Jet Plastica will continue with its existing president and chief executive officer, S. James Spierer, and other executives, Templeton said.
He said the original company, Plastica Inc., dates back to 1947 and expanded in 1982 when it bought the Jet tumbler and dinnerware business of Mobil Chemical Co.
Trivest is a private investment firm that provides equity for middle-market corporate acquisitions and growth financing. Jet Plastica is the fourth investment made by Trivest Fund II Ltd. and affiliated funds, which closed in June 1996 with committed capital of $210 million.
Trivest, founded in 1981, controls 11 portfolio companies that have annual sales totalling about $1 billion.