The parent companies of two major North American plastic sheet suppliers are becoming more liquid in separate stock-related moves.
A private money management company announced it is seeking a buyer of its long-term, 18.7 percent holding in Spartech Corp. of Clayton, Mo. Meanwhile, Uniroyal Technology Corp. of Sarasota, Fla., announced that on Nov. 7, the U.S. Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. had sold 2.3 million shares of UTC, a 17 percent stake in the company.
Spartech and Uniroyal are major sheet extruders — Uniroyal through Royalite, its largest division. Spartech's operations also include compounding and injection molding; Uniroyal also makes cast acrylic sheet, coated fabrics and specialty adhesives.
TCW Capital retained New York investment banker Wasserstein Perella & Co. in an effort to sell the Spartech shares to a strategic investor or a trading company.
TCW Capital is an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Trust Co. of the West. The firm manages funds in the form of limited partnerships, primarily for pensions and insurance companies, said Thomas L. Cassidy, a senior partner of TCW Capital in New York and, since early 1986, a Spartech director.
Spartech's largest owner, a unit of Manchester, England-based British Vita plc, holds 33.1 percent of the company but, so far, has not expressed an interest in buying the TCW block.
Spartech's acquisition and growth strategy remains in place. ``In fact, we are very encouraged by what they have been doing,'' W.R. Clerihue, Spartech board chairman, said in a telephone interview from his Vancouver, British Columbia, office.
Spartech reported annual sales of about $575 million and compound annual growth of 37 percent since 1992. Spartech operates 16 plants in the United States and six in Canada.
Uniroyal Technology's officers, directors and principals close to the company bought a substantial portion of the 2.3 million shares placed on the open market by Pacholder Associates, a financial agent commissioned by Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. to liquidate the government ownership in UTC.
``With the exit of the PBGC, UTC stock will be in the hands of investors seeking long-term capital growth,'' Chairman Howard Curd said in a news release.
Uniroyal shares closed at $5 on Nov. 7, a new 52-week high and up more than $1 from the previous day's closing price. The stock also closed at $5 per share Nov. 10.