A joint venture between M.A. Hanna Co. and Techmer PM will produce color and additive concentrates for film and fiber markets.
Cleveland-based Hanna will own 51 percent of the Clinton, Tenn.-based venture, which will do business as Techmer PM LLC. The venture will combine all of Techmer's assets and technology with Hanna's Southwest Chemical division.
The new company will produce and sell color and additive concentrates for film applications, ranging from custom formulations to large-volume standard concentrates.
Techmer's plants, which employ about 350, are in Clinton and Rancho Dominguez, Calif. Hanna's fiber operations, which employ about 60, are in Buford, Ga.
``The fibers and film markets offer us excellent growth opportunities,'' Hanna Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas McGregor said in a statement. ``The combination of technical, marketing and geographic capabilities will allow us to serve the market with a full product range in a cost-effective manner.''
The joint venture also will connect Hanna's global operations to Techmer's partners in Japan and South Korea, according to Techmer President and CEO John Manuck, who will continue to serve in those capacities in the joint venture.
Combined, the businesses posted more than $100 million in sales in 1996. Techmer's sales were about $90 million. Hanna has estimated the high-volume film and fiber colorant business at 80 million pounds annually.
Manuck said Techmer — a 16-year-old partnership between himself, Rehrig Pacific of Los Angeles, Tokyo Printing Ink of Tokyo and Sangho Mercantile of Pusan, South Korea — has been ``exploring alliances'' for two years.
``People would call on a weekly basis offering money for investment, but money wasn't what we were looking for,'' Manuck said in a Nov. 4 telephone interview from Clinton. ``We were looking for synergies that would allow us to grow. People say one plus one sometimes equals three.''
Manuck added that the venture will allow Techmer to ``mix up its product mix'' by focusing on specialized short orders for custom colors at the Buford site, freeing up the Clinton and Rancho Dominguez locations for larger applications. The Buford site will also be used as a demonstration plant for satellite technology, Manuck said.
The move also will link Techmer, which has enjoyed double-digit growth in recent years, with Southwest Chemical, a Hanna-owned compounder based in Seabrook, Texas, with additional locations in West Des Moines, Iowa; Kingstree, S.C.; and Macedonia, Ohio.
Techmer now has come full circle with Southwest, which it had dealt with first as a supplier and later as a competitor.
``Our business runs from small orders to truckloads, while theirs runs from truckloads to rail cars,'' Manuck said.