Reichhold, BIP swap resin businesses
DURHAM, N.C. — Reichhold and BIP Ltd. are trading places.
The companies on June 12 announced a swap, with Reichhold taking over BIP's unsaturated polyester resins business in the United Kingdom and BIP taking Reichhold's amino coatings business in Brazil, Mexico and the United States.
Reichhold plans to move production of BIP's Beetle line of resins from Mitcham, England, to its own facility in Oldbury, England. Reichhold also plans to invest $3.3 million to boost capacity at Mitcham.
Reichhold would not release capacity figures, but announced that the deal will add an estimated $22.8 million to its United Kingdom sales. Reichhold's total unsaturated polyester capacity was about 700 million pounds.
Reichhold, a subsidiary of Dainippon Ink and Chemical Co. of Tokyo, recently boosted European production in 1997 when it bought Jotun Polymers of Sandefjord, Norway.
BIP, long known for its urea and melamine molding compounds and related Beetleware products, is based in Manchester, England. Reichhold's headquarters are in Durham. The two companies formed a strategic alliance in 1996.
PET bottle maker mulls second plant
ETTEN-LEUR, NETHERLANDS — A 3-year-old European PET bottle manufacturer that just doubled its plant capacity in the Netherlands said it may build a second injection stretch blow molding plant in southern Europe.
PET Partners, also known as PET Power, is keen to meet rapidly growing demand for PET packaging in Italy, Spain, Portugal and southern France, according to marketing manager Koos Gommers.
The firm is not ruling out a possible southern joint venture. But the company will not make a final decision until its newly expanded headquarters plant in Etten-Leur is at full capacity, probably by the end of 1999, Gommers said.
PET Partners was established in 1995 by former managers of Dutch packaging molder Skillpack BV. This year the firm expects sales to rise 40 percent to 30 million Dutch guilders ($14.6 million).
The Etten-Leur plant has 22 of the latest Aoki SB 250 injection stretch blow molding machines and features a new, 1,950-square-foot clean room to make pharmaceutical and medical containers. The production area has doubled in size to 8,100 square feet, and the firm added a warehouse with capacity for 8,000 pallets.
PET Partners said it will take delivery of three more Aoki SB 250 machines this month and three more by October. Another 10 Aoki machines will be installed next year, Gommers said.
The PET packaging market in Europe is growing 10-15 percent annually, Gommers said. PET Partners has a technical agreement with Captive Plastics Inc. of Piscataway, N.J., under which the companies can share tooling, he said.
London's Britton Group buys Merlin
LONDON — Flexible film and packaging producer Britton Group Plastics has purchased British independent film extruder and converter Merlin Flexible Packaging Ltd. Terms were not disclosed.
Merlin of Louth, England, extrudes single-layer and multilayer film for frozen food, drinks, construction and envelope applications, according to London-based Britton Group.
Formed in 1964, Merlin has sales of more than $57 million and employs 350. It will be renamed Britton Merlin and join BGP's Britton Print and Conversion division.
This is BGP's first acquisition since its own $150 million management buyout in April from ACX Technologies Inc. of Golden, Colo. BGP Chief Executive Officer Colin Smith called the Merlin deal a ``major strategic acquisition'' that allows the company to expand into new markets. BGP had sales of about $200 million and has 11 operating companies across England arranged in three divisions: print and conversion, film and security.
Pyramid expands Ill. facility, adds presses
ROCKFORD, ILL. — Pyramid Plastics Inc. of Rockford spent about $1.25 million to expand its facility and launch two-shot molding operations with the addition of new presses.
Pyramid, a thermoplastic injection molder, added a 17,820-square-foot facility in December so it will be capable of molding large parts, said President Brian Powell.
``We wanted to expand because we feel it will give us a larger range to work with,'' Powell said. ``This will give us a great deal of versatility.''
The company also has added one 28-ton Arburg, three 400-ton Nisseis, one 600-ton Mitsubishi, one 618-ton Nissei, and two 127-ton, two-shot Nissei presses.
Powell said the cost of the expansion was about $500,000. The machinery cost the firm about $750,000.
Pyramid has traditional, insert and two-shot molding capabilities. The firm also offers ultrasonic welding and insertion, assembly, pad printing, and hot stamping as secondary operations.
Pyramid serves the automotive, food, electrical, plumbing and cosmetics industries. Powell said in 1997 the company had sales of about $5 million.