GE Plastics strengthened its presence in South America with the acquisition of Polimeros Argentinos SA, an engineering plastics compounder and distributor in Tortuguitas, near Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Terms of the deal, announced Dec. 18, were not disclosed.
The Argentine unit has become GE Plastics' second compounding plant in South America. The Pittsfield, Mass., firm already owns a compounding unit in Campinas, Brazil. That plant is in the midst of expanding.
``We are increasing our capacity with this acquisition and expansion in Campinas to meet the needs of the growing industries here in South America, most notably the automotive industry,'' said Oscar Groomes, general manager at GE Plastics South America.
``A lot of new investment is going in the South of Brazil as well as in Argentina,'' he said in a telephone interview. ``It makes sense to be as close to your customer base as possible, especially with the high cost of logistics in South America.''
Groomes said the acquired plant operates with five to six extrusion lines, and will boost GE's existing capacity in the region by 40-50 percent.
The Tortuguitas plant employs 38. It will be able to produce a full range of GE Plastics' thermoplastics, including Lexan polycarbonate, Cycoloy PC/ABS, Cycolac ABS and other engineering resins.
Polimeros also sold products that were not part of GE Plastics portfolio, such as nylon compounds, Groomes said. The firm plans to continue selling those items in South America.