Thermoformer Triangle Plastics Inc. boosted its stake in the materials-handling market by acquiring TriEnda Corp. on Jan. 5 for undisclosed terms.
Triangle also got its first sheet extrusion operation in the deal. TriEnda makes high density polyethylene sheet at its Portage, Wis., thermoforming facility, mainly for captive use.
TriEnda will continue to focus on high-growth markets for plastic pallets, returnable dunnage for the automotive industry and custom-designed products for various markets, Triangle noted in a news release. TriEnda will continue with its name, as a Triangle subsidiary headed by William Dresen, TriEnda's previous and current president.
TriEnda's previous owners saw the deal as ``a way to realize the company's growth potential while keeping management and the labor force intact,'' Tom Drury, TriEnda vice president of quality and human resources, said in a telephone interview.
``TriEnda's products, skilled work force and production capability are an excellent fit with Triangle's existing operations and will fit in well with our aggressive growth plans for the future,'' Triangle Chairman James Blin said in a news release.
TriEnda's materials-handling products and thermoforming capabilities are similar to Triangle's, according to Lynn Osterhaus, Triangle vice president of human resources. She did not disclose the size of Triangle's materials-handling products business, but said the TriEnda purchase will make materials handling one of its two major businesses, along with components for original equipment manufacturers of trucks, recreational products and industrial equipment.
The firms will share their expertise in heavy-gauge thermoforming technology, according to Drury. He said the Portage plant has enough thermoforming capacity for further growth and probably will hire more workers. It now employs about 90.
Officials did not disclose how Triangle might integrate the Portage sheet extrusion operation with Triangle's sheet needs at other facilities.
Triangle, based in Independence, Iowa, runs 30 thermoforming lines at its six plants and had sales of about $72.5 million last year, making it one of North America's largest industrial thermoformers. The TriEnda purchase is its second in less than a month. Late last year it bought Bigelow Packaging Division, a Charlotte, N.C., marketer of plastic pallets mainly made by Triangle.
About a year earlier it acquired Solar Plastics Inc., a diverse thermoformer in Florida.
Blin established Triangle in 1965.
TriEnda's sales last year were $29 million, with thermoforming accounting for $25 million of the total.
TriEnda runs seven thermoforming lines.The company was owned by Dresen and Dennis Markos, the former CEO who has left the operation.
TriEnda was formed as a separate company in 1994 when Dresen and other Penda Corp. owners sold Penda's truck bedliner business and Penda name to an investor group led by Trivest Inc. of Miami. Penda was established in 1975.
Drury said TriEnda recently fulfilled ``a nice order'' for pallets for the U.S. Postal Service and he expects TriEnda to be a significant supplier of pallets and other materials-handling products to the service.