HPG International Inc. is putting the lid on roofing with the announced sale of its North American thermoplastic roofing materials business to Johns Manville Corp.
The sale includes HPG's sales force of about 40 people, according to HPG President John Dellevigne.
Johns Manville ``will own the brand, have all the people and hold all the approvals,'' Dellevigne explained. ``You can't just make a plastic sheet and throw it over a roof. You have to have all the other things in place. That's what we sold them.''
HPG will continue to sell roofing outside North America, but as an agent, not a manufacturer, Dellevigne said.
HPG — which is headquartered in Somerset, N.J., with a manufacturing facility in Mountaintop, Pa. — is a leading supplier of calendered and extruded PVC and polyolefin film and sheet products.
HPG, for the time being, will continue to make the vinyl sheet for roofing, but Johns Man~ville will market the product in North America, according to Dellevigne.
HPG reported $98 million in 1995 sales and ranked as the 13th-largest sheet manufacturer in Plastics News' 1996 survey of the industry. Dellevigne predicted $95 million in 1997 sales from HPG's remaining businesses, but added that fourth-quarter results will be lowered as roofing is sold at wholesale rather than retail prices.
Johns Manville is buying a business that realized $55 million in sales in 1996, according to Johns Manville spokesman John Cummings.
For Denver-based Johns Manville, which recently revived its current name after a brief stint as Shuller Corp., the acquisition adds thermoplastics to its line of commercial and industrial roofing materials.
``We rank ourselves as the No. 1 supplier of roofing systems in North America,'' Cummings said. ``But [thermoplastics] is a market we have not participated in. This will be a real nice fit for us.''
Johns Manville, a public company that also makes insulation, filtration and other building products, reported $1.5 billion in 1996 sales.
The sale marks HPG International's continuing efforts to shed businesses it is not big enough to promote competitively, Dellevigne said. In 1996 the company sold its small rigid-PVC calendering business to Empire Plastics Inc.
``We're selling those businesses we feel we can't adequately support,'' Dellevigne said, noting that the roofing business ``requires considerable advertising, promotional and distribution support.''
But that does not mean HPG is shrinking.
Dellevigne said his company is working on an acquisition, but he said he could not give any more details.