Hoping to boost earnings and improve operations, Dynacast Inc. has undertaken the second major corporate restructuring of its SPM Inc. custom injection molding unit in 18 months.
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.-based Dynacast is recruiting a new president for SPM and is naming the former head of the plastics unit, Chief Operating Officer Andre LeBlanc, as SPM vice president of operations.
SPM's plastics plants outside of North America — in Brazil, Ireland and Malaysia — also will report to Dynacast Inc. management, instead of to SPM. The changes took effect April 1.
The restructuring splits Dynacast's die-cast metal and plastics operations in North America, giving each of them presidents who will report to Andrew Dick, COO of Alcester, England-based Dynacast International Ltd.
``We have outperformed the industry but we may not have outperformed the expectations of the city of London and our shareholders,'' LeBlanc said of SPM. ``The only reason this is taking place is we are hoping to be stronger to respond to the transformation of the plastics industry.''
LeBlanc said his specialty has been in turning around troubled operations, and he described himself as a trouble-shooter at SPM.
LeBlanc and Dick will split management of SPM's 13 North American facilities. LeBlanc will be responsible for introducing and maintaining operational standards, growing the company and managing ``a degree of downsizing'' in certain areas, a Dynacast spokesman said.
LeBlanc will manage the Mexican facility in Arecibo, and plants in Houston, Minneapolis, North Carolina, Montreal, and Calgary, Ontario. Dick will manage the other seven facilities, the spokesman said.
The rise of Tier 1 contract manufacturers in the computer, business machine and electronics markets is part of the reason SPM is restructuring, LeBlanc said.
``We are competing in a very tight marketplace,'' he said. ``We need the structure that will give us the best advantage.''
It is Dynacast's second major leadership change since buying SPM from Bace Manufacturing Inc. in early 1995.
In late 1996, SPM's then-President Mike Noggle, Executive Vice President Larry Noggle and Senior Vice President Charles Finkbiner resigned and LeBlanc was named COO. The Noggles and Finkbiner had been majority shareholders in SPM and Bace.
SPM has been building new facilities aggresively, even as it has shut down some plants. The new plants, including one in Guadalajara, Mexico, and a planned molding plant in Conover, N.C., are part of a plan to grow from 16 to 20 facilities worldwide.
A Dynacast spokesman would not discuss the time line for naming a new president, but said that person will come from outside the company. Dick will be SPM acting president.
``The requirement has been to find a management structure that can cope with the rapid rate of growth and change,'' the spokesman said. ``Andre LeBlanc stepped in and did a first-class job, but over the last few years sales have been growing at between 5 and 10 percent. ... The scale and growth of the company and the complexity of the tasks facing Dynacast require additional management resources.''
Dynacast's parent, Coats Viyella plc of Alcester, announced a restructuring in late December that, if fully implemented, eventually would create three separate companies, including Dynacast.
Anaheim, Calif.-based SPM ranked 13th in Plastics News' most recent ranking of North American injection molders with $235 million in relevant annual sales. That represents about 45 percent of Dynacast's total sales.