DUDELANGE, LUXEMBOURG — Canadian machinery and mold maker Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. may try to go public by the end of 1998, but Husky officials aren't saying much else right now.
Trade press reporters asked Robert Schad, Husky's president and founder, about the company's plans during a June 18 press conference at Husky's European headquarters in Dudelange. Schad, citing laws covering initial public offerings, said he could not comment. He referred questions to Dirk Schlimm, vice president of corporate affairs.
Questioned after the news conference, Schlimm said Husky possibly could go public by year's end. He declined to elaborate.
Based in Bolton, Ontario, Husky racked up sales of US$626.4 million and profit of US$34.9 million in its fiscal 1997, which ended July 31. Schad declined to give a 1998 sales projection.
Husky issues an annual report even though it is privately held. The company makes injection molding machines, robots and molds for PET preforms.
Schad, who with his family owns about 65 percent of the company, first disclosed plans to take the firm public at last year's NPE show in Chicago. Employees own about 25 percent of the firm.
In Dudelange, Husky officials focused on the firm's technology and current big expansions in Europe and the United States.
Given Schad's reputation as a hands-on entrepreneur who runs the show, the machinery industry is watching to see what role Schad would take in a public Husky. In Luxembourg, Schad kicked off the news conference by joking that the only off-limits question was, ``When am I going to retire?''
But Schad made it clear he wants a public Husky to retain an entrepreneurial spirit and continue taking a longer-term approach than its competitors, even with pressure from the daily stock tables.
``Our goal is to build a company that is admired for lasting business success, based on our core values,'' Schad said. He said he hopes investors would view Husky's stock as a buy-and-hold investment.
``I never worked for money in my life,'' he said. ``I wanted to build a machine, do this, and do that. This is what excites me.''