Wachusett Molding to sell equipment
WEST BOYLSTON, MASS. — Custom injection molder Wachusett Molding Corp., which ceased operations Jan. 31, plans to sell its injection presses and other equipment.
Gerald Finkle, Wachusett president, founder and owner, said his West Boylston firm no longer was profitable. He did not elaborate on how market conditions figured in Wachusett's demise.
Wachusett reported sales of about $6 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 1996, in Plastics News' 1997 injection molders' survey. It had 18 injection presses, and its services included design, decorating, welding, assembly and tool building. The company had a diverse customer base, with automotive, computers, packaging and medical among its markets.
Finkle said in a telephone interview that he will set up a consulting business after running Wachusett for 37 years.
AAPC grabs more vinyl window assets
BOARDMAN, OHIO — American Architectural Products Corp. of Boardman is continuing its explosive growth.
Publicly traded AAPC, which recently acquired the PVC extrusion operations of Easco Inc., announced Feb. 18 it has signed a binding letter of intent to buy the Weather-Seal division of Louisiana-Pacific Corp.
The deal includes Weather-Seal's Kreidel Plastics unit in Barberton, Ohio, which extrudes both proprietary and custom lineals. Kreidel reported $3.4 million in extrusion sales in 1996 and placed 175th on Plastics News' ranking of North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders.
Weather-Seal also fabricates vinyl and wood windows and doors at seven locations in Ohio. Portland, Ore.-based Louisiana-Pacific announced in October that it planned to sell $1 billion worth of noncore businesses — including Weather-Seal.
Meanwhile, AAPC has been snatching up window assets.
In recent months the company bought the Easco division, which it renamed VinylSource Inc., and four other window and door companies in North Carolina, Texas, Michigan and Ohio. Financial details about the deal were not disclosed. Louisiana-Pacific said the sale could be completed by the end of March.
Florida equity fund buys molder Vaupell
SEATTLE — In another foray into the plastics industry, a Florida-based private equity fund has acquired a majority interest in custom molder Vaupell Industrial Plastics Inc. of Seattle. Terms were not disclosed.
H.I.G. Capital Management of Miami purchased the interest Jan. 30 from longtime owners Fred Tompkins and John Ceserani. Both will continue with the operation, and no immediate changes in management are planned.
Founded in 1947, Vaupell manufactures injection molded plastic parts and subassemblies for original equipment manufacturers in the aerospace, medical, electronic and transportation markets.
Currently, H.I.G. has investments in 18 midsize corporations in various industries throughout the United States.
In mid-1997, H.I.G. acquired then-publicly traded Thermal Industries Inc., a Pittsburgh manufacturer and distributor of vinyl-framed, made-to-order windows, for about $29.6 million.
Shell breaks ground on Louisiana plant
HOUSTON — Shell Chemical Co. of Houston has launched construction of its first North American production site for Carilon-brand thermoplastic polymers.
The 55 million-pound-per-year plant will be built at Shell's Geismar, La., complex and is scheduled to be operating in early 1999. Capacity at the 87,500-square-foot facility, which will create nearly 100 new jobs, can be doubled to meet market demand.
Carilon, an aliphatic polyketone, has been used in automotive fuel system components, electrical connectors, business machine gears, yard tool cutting blades and a variety of injection molded parts since Shell began commercial production in Carrington, England, in 1996.
Shell officials said the project reflects early product success and the company's long-term commitment to the engineering thermoplastic market.
Carilon, which officials compared to acetal and nylon, is produced in a variety of extrusion and injection molding grades as well as in glass-reinforced, flame-retardant, mineral-filled and lubricated compounds.