Radnor Holdings Corp. has bought Neste Oy's expanded polystyrene resin and construction materials businesses.
The deal was valued at $51 million, according to Standard & Poor's Corp. of New York.
The deal will give Radnor a European base through which to expand its existing products and technology in the region. The Radnor, Pa.-based firm will have annual sales of about $325 million with its new acquisitions.
Radnor makes and distributes EPS bead and disposable foam food-service industry packaging, said R. Radcliffe Hastings, senior vice president and treasurer for Radnor Holdings.
Radnor holds an estimated 35 percent market share in the $600 million U.S. foam disposable cup and container market, according to Standard & Poor's.
The construction market will be new for Radnor, but the company already has some European customers it plans to serve from the acquired operations, Hastings said.
He added that Radnor plans to invest in the businesses, but that there is no need for a quick injection of capital because Neste has kept up the operations.
The Neste business include PS production plants in Porvoo and Kokemaki, Finland, with combined capacity of 110 million pounds per year. In addition, it involves six Styrex-brand EPS insulating materials plants with combined capacity of 35 million pounds per year.
These operations include three in Finland at Vammala, Nurmijarvi and Jakobstad; two in Sweden at Norrtalje and Vargarda and the sixth at Hedensted in Denmark, according to Neste.
All the plants Radnor is buying employ a total of 260 and reported 1996 sales of 380 million Finnish markkaa (US$72 million), according to Neste of Espoo, Finland.
The sale is in line with Neste's strategy of refocusing on its oil and energy businesses.
``We have been looking for a new owner who would actively continue developing the polystyrene and related businesses,'' said Georges Marzloff, senior executive vice president of Neste Chemicals, also based in Espoo.
Radnor proposed issuing $60 million in senior notes to finance the deal. Standard & Poor's rated the notes double B minus.