George Votis plans to turn Anchor Advanced Products Inc. into a global molding company to be near offshore operations of its toothbrush, cosmetic packaging and other customers.
Votis recently acquired custom injection and blow molder Anchor of Knoxville, Tenn., and will use his expanding European operations to help Anchor establish a beachhead there and in other markets, he said in a telephone interview.
``Anchor's [North American] customers are international in scope,'' Votis said.
He compared his global vision for Anchor to what already has happened in the automotive market, where suppliers follow customers around the world to provide one-stop parts shopping.
Anchor's toothbrush, cosmetic packaging, point-of-purchase display and clean-room medical molding markets are all new to Votis. He bought Anchor because ``it operates in alternative segments of the plastics industry with internal growth opportunities.''
Votis stressed that Anchor's manufacturing operations will remain separate from Moll Industries LP, his custom injection molding business that bought two European molders since August. Moll's sales have soared past $250 million annually, with more than half of that in Europe since it bought Somomeca Industries and Hannning Kunststoffe in February and August, respectively.
Votis said he will invest nearly $10 million this year to modernize and expand Anchor's operations, but he would provide no further details. Anchor had sales of $161.2 million last year.
It operates plastics plants in Morristown, Tenn., and Matamoros, Mexico. Its Mid-State Plastics Inc. subsidiary has plants in Seagrove, N.C., and Round Rock, Texas. The operations have more than 200 injection presses and about 18 blow molding machines.
Votis said he plans to keep all the plants running. He bought Anchor for undisclosed terms from Boston investment firm Thomas H. Lee Co.
Moll's major markets include appliances, telecommunications, electronics, automotive and institutional products. Earlier this year Votis said Moll will expand into Eastern Europe and South America, and eventually Asia.