Davis-Standard Corp. has beefed up its European manufacturing capacity by purchasing Betol Machinery Ltd., which builds extrusion systems for tubing, pipe and profiles and manual insert molding machines.
Davis-Standard of Pawcatuck, Conn., announced the news June 1. Davis-Standard bought Betol from EIS Group plc, a London-based holding company. Betol employs about 120.
EIS said Davis-Standard paid $6 million for the business.
Although Betol is best known for its extruders and downstream equipment for making tubing, Betol is broader than that, according to Al Hodge, vice president of sales and engineering at Davis-Standard.
``They specialize in tubing, but they're also into pipe and profile [extrusion] as well,'' Hodge said.
Alan Rutherford will serve as Betol's managing director, based at the company's plant in Luton, England. He will report to Hodge.
Davis-Standard's pickup of Betol comes a few months after EIS sold the rubber extruder business of Francis Shaw Plastics Machinery Ltd. to Farrel Corp. of Ansonia, Conn. Farrel makes extruders and mixers for the plastics and rubber industries.
Along with Betol, Hodge said, Davis-Standard also has acquired the large-diameter, single-screw extruder-making business of Francis Shaw Plastics. EIS earlier had merged the operations of Francis Shaw Plastics with Betol, using the Betol name for all of the equipment.
Besides the Betol tubing extruders, other equipment businesses included in the Davis-Standard acquisition include:
Kabel Teknik Ltd., a builder of specialized downstream equipment, such as cutters, pullers and winders.
Floataire, which makes pipe downstream equipment.
Manumold, which makes insert molding machines. Hodge said these are small, hand-operated machines mostly sold with Betol's medical tubing lines.
For Davis-Standard, which racked up $311.7 million in 1997 sales, the Betol deal marks a return to the acquisition game. The company bought eight companies or product lines from 1991-96, then took a breather from acquisitions last year.
That status-quo stance changed earlier this year, when Davis-Standard bought the screw and barrel product line of Bernex-Muller AG of Rorbas, Switzerland. Production was moved to Davis-Standard's ER-WE-PA plant in Erkrath, Germany.
Hodge said the company's European strategy calls for ER-WE-PA in Germany to be the base of operations for film, coating and sheet equipment. Betol in Luton will become the European center for pipe, profile and tubing.
Davis-Standard also owns the Repiquet extrusion factory in Dannemarie, France, but that business mainly serves France, Hodge said.
He said Davis-Standard is evaluating how to market the Betol equipment to North America.
``We're really looking at Betol's name strength in Europe and the Middle East,'' he said.
Davis-Standard is owned by Crompton & Knowles Corp. of Stamford, Conn.
EIS has sold the plastics and rubber machinery to focus on its key business sectors — fluid technology, which makes seals and couplings, and precision technology, including a broad spectrum of companies in aerospace and defense equipment.
A company spokesman in London said EIS has retained two polymer processing machinery companies in England — Prism Ltd. of Stafford, which makes laboratory-sized twin-screw extruders; and Barwell International Ltd. of Cambridge, a supplier of preform machines for the rubber industry.