Hi-Tech Hose Inc., a maker of industrial and medical plastic products, has been bought by a British plastic, bearing and spring manufacturer for $7.4 million, the companies announced Dec. 18.
The purchase by United Industries plc gives the firm its first U.S. manufacturing presence, and will allow both companies to distribute their products in each other's markets, said Max Greco, vice president of Hi-Tech Hose.
Hi-Tech, which has a single manufacturing plant in Newburyport, Mass., has annual sales approaching $8 million, company officials said. It had profit of about $600,000 in 1996.
Hi-Tech Hose will act as the U.S. base for United's Perplas medical business, and Hi-Tech's products, which are not actively being marketed in Europe, will be promoted by United's plastics businesses, a United news release said.
``Hi-Tech Hose provides United Industries with a valuable first base to expand more rapidly our existing sales of technical and plastic components in the U.S.,'' United Chief Executive Officer Roy Freeland said in the release.
Greco declined to talk in detail about how the two operations will work together after the acquisition, but the United release said Hi-Tech's current management team will remain.
``Their position is that they are going to certainly support any capital expenditures we need,'' Greco said. ``We have some very specific projects we've discussed with them.''
Hi-Tech probably has enough space at its current location, which includes six extrusion lines and more than 30,000 square feet of space.
The company makes lightweight flexible ducts for industrial applications, and entered the medical market last year.
Hi-Tech is growing rapidly and finds it ``very disappointing'' if sales growth does not exceed 30 percent a year, according to Greco. Sales are up almost 50 percent since mid-1996, Greco added.
The Massachusetts company had assets of $1.4 million in 1996, according to United.