Borden Inc. plans to sell its last plastics operations, which focus on commercial and industrial decorative products, to specialty finance firm American Capital Strategies Ltd. of Bethesda, Md.
Borden's Decor business does vinyl calendering in Columbus, Ohio, where it is based, and vinyl film extrusion in St. Louis. It converts the film and sheet to decorative surfacing materials for furniture and other applications, and for commercial and institutional wallcoverings. Spokeswoman Lynn Anderson did not disclose vinyl processing capacities.
Anderson said Borden agreed to sell its Decor business for about $33 million and expects to complete the deal by late March or April. A condition to the sale is approval of a new collective bargaining agreement for Columbus employees represented by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, whose current agreement expires in October 1999.
American Capital expects to team its ownership with management and employees of Decor, who would own a majority share through an employee stock ownership plan over five years.
The Decor business had sales of about $105 million last year, of which industrial laminates accounted for more than half. Borden agreed last year to sell a similar business for residential wallcoverings to Blackstone Capital Partners III Merchant Banking Fund LP of New York. That deal is slated to close in the first quarter of 1998.
Decor laminates include wood grain and other designs on paper and vinyl that are glued to particleboard and other substrates. Its commercial wallcoverings are fabric-backed vinyl. The Columbus operation employs about 400; 290 nonunionized employees work in St. Louis. Decor also has 30 field sales representatives.
Borden, once a major in plastic film, is concentrating on its food, adhesives, coatings and industrial chemicals businesses. American Capital had an interest in automotive vinyl producer Textile Leather Corp. before it was sold a few years ago, according to American Capital principal John Ireland. The firm has been traded on Nasdaq since August and claims it has capital resources exceeding $150 million.