TEMECULA, CALIF. — Channell Commercial Corp. this month is scheduled to complete its third acquisition in 16 months.
The company anticipates that its annual sales will exceed $100 million, Gary W. Baker, chief financial officer, said in an office interview. The firm had profit of $8.5 million on 1997 sales of $59.9 million and, at year-end, employed 296.
In a strategic move, Channell is buying family-controlled A.C. Egerton Holdings plc of Orpington-Kent, England, for about $26.2 million in cash and $5.5 in assumed debt.
Egerton makes and distributes telephone equipment, employing about 400 in the United Kingdom and Australia. Egerton had 1997 sales of about $35 million.
``We can replicate their products over here, and they can take ours over there,'' Baker said.
Eventually, the growth may require more plastics molding capability for the enclosures it supplies to cable and telephone companies.
Channell operates 14 injection molding presses with clamping forces of 55-750 tons and two rotational molding machines.
``What we know best and do best is plastics,'' Baker said.
Channell processes rubber on one injection and three compression molding machines to make grommets.
Now, in Temecula, the company is creating an integrated sheet metal fabrication and assembly cell using knowledge it obtained in its July acquisition of Standby Electronics Corp. of Mississauga, Ontario.
Standby designs and assembles enclosures but subcontracts fabrication.
Channell expects by July to complete improvements of a 92,000-square-foot building for the sheet metal cell, additional tool and die production and a new research and development center. Channell acquired the building in November, adjacent to its 260,000-square-foot headquarters and principal manufacturing facility.
``If we need to expand on the East Coast or in Europe, we can duplicate that [metal] cell someplace else,'' Baker said.
Channell will maintain its existing toolroom for maintenance activity and use a portion of the additional space for new tooling development.
Channell employs 12 to make tools that process plastics or metal.