Fix-Corp International Inc., a high density polyethylene recycler and manufacturer of plastic shipping pallets, has set its sights on a new segment: PVC vertical blinds.
Beachwood, Ohio-based Fix-Corp announced Feb. 4 it will acquire the assets of Universal Vinyl Corp. of Medley, Fla.
Fix-Corp will use the assets to create a new division: PolyStyles Inc. PolyStyles will have four extrusion lines, ``that are capable of producing over $3 million'' in sales of PVC vertical window blinds, according to a Fix-Corp news release. Fix-Corp also plans to locate pallet production at the site.
The vinyl extrusion business marks a departure for Fix-Corp, which had been concentrating on HDPE recycling ventures in Ohio and California. But departures aren't new to the firm.
The company, which had no previous plastics processing experience, has worked to grow its presence in the HDPE recycling market after buying a former Quantum Chemical Co. recycling plant in Heath, Ohio, in 1996. Fix-Corp in 1997 earned a grant from a California agency and inked a deal with AlliedSignal Inc. to recycle HDPE motor oil containers.
Meanwhile, Universal Vinyl had been having troubles. In September 1997 it lost a patent infringement suit. A U.S. District Court in Florida ordered Universal Vinyl to pay $4.3 million in damages to Geon Co. of Avon Lake, Ohio, its former PVC resin supplier. Universal Vinyl used Geon's patented process to give its vertical blind profiles a ``marbled'' appearance, the court ruled.
Fix-Corp is not buying the Universal Vinyl company, just its assets, Fix-Corp President Mark Fixler said Feb. 5 by telephone.
Former Universal Vinyl executive Yoram Aisenberg will join Fix-Corp as head of its Florida operations. Aisenberg also is president of Nitro Plastics Technologies of Israel, based in Netanya, Israel. Fix-Corp in July entered into a licensing agreement with Nitro Plastics for the Israeli company's proprietary, gas-assist injection molding technology used for making pallets from recycled material.
Fixler said his company is looking to lease a new plant in Florida to house both the extrusion and pallet operations.
``We've come a long way in a short amount of time,'' Fixler said, adding that Fix-Corp's staff has grown from five to more than 100 employees in less than two years.
The company's over-the-counter stock also has come a long way: from a low of $0.4375 per share in May 1997, right after the company went public, to a Jan. 5 closing of $3.4375.