Sealaska Corp. has acquired 90 percent of TriQuest Precision Plastics and agreed to fund expansion plans of the custom injection molder and contract manufacturer. Diversification needs motivated both firms.
Vancouver, Wash.-based TriQuest's management continues without change but with stronger financial backing to diversify geographically in Canada and Mexico. TriQuest makes plastic enclosures, housings, parts and assemblies for electronic and telecommunications original equipment manufacturers.
Sealaska of Juneau, Alaska, said it views the purchase as part of a long-range plan to diversify beyond harvesting and marketing of timber and management of an investment portfolio. Sealaska, which represents the business interests of natives in Alaska's southeast region, was seeking ways to maintain a revenue stream when economic cycles affect core activities.
``We looked aggressively to acquire a business that was already thriving,'' Robert W. Loescher, Sealaska president and chief executive officer, said in a release. ``They were looking for an infusion of capital.''
Sealaska completed the purchase from three Vancouver-area investors Dec. 19 and announced the deal, its largest outside Alaska, Dec. 23. Terms were not disclosed.
TriQuest employs about 1,300, has annual sales of about $90 million and operates 113 injection molding machines in Vancouver; Calgary, Alberta; and Guadalajara, Mexico. It also has a precision tooling division in Baxter, Minn.
The business began in 1964 as the captive molding division of an Oregon computer and peripheral manufacturer, was spun off to employees in 1987 and sold to the Vancouver business group in 1992. Management contracts have led to acquisitions and the resulting need for a broader capital base.
TriQuest is completing construction of a 90,000-square-foot facility in Guadalajara. A production ramp-up will begin in late January with TriQuest eventually installing 40-50 more injection molding machines. Now, 38 presses mold electronic parts in a nearby plant that also makes electromechanical assemblies.
Plans in Calgary call for enlargement of molding and assembly capabilities and a bigger tool shop.
Sealaska reported net profit of $22.1 million on sales of $202 million for the 1997 fiscal year, ended March 31. About 16,000 shareholders own Sealaska, a regional corporation formed under provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.
A similar but larger firm, Arctic Slope Regional Corp. of Barrow, Alaska, has owned injection molder Puget Plastics Corp. of Tualatin, Ore., as a wholly owned subsidiary since early 1995. ASRC represents the business interests of the Inupiat people of Alaska's north slope.
The native corporations can qualify as minority-owned businesses, and their operations may receive bidding preference in competing for government contracts.