STI Inc. plans to enter the housewares market by acquiring the Calaware product line from Calico Industries Inc. of San Clemente, Calif.
STI will transfer most of the housewares molding to its Grantsburg, Wis., plant, Marcel Kole, STI chief executive officer, said by telephone. STI's Mound, Minn., headquarters plant also will do some of the molding. Calico owns housewares molds but has contracted out its molding.
Kole said the purchase will launch his firm into direct retail sales, helping sales of nearly 20 proprietary items like pitchers and scrapers that STI has been molding.
Calaware products include bottle caps, bag sealers, measuring spoons, kitchen aids and pizza cutters. Calico CEO Terence Tucker said in a news release that the acquisition should boost Calaware sales and help control manufacturing costs.
Calaware will add about $1 million in annual sales to STI, boosting the Mound firm's yearly total to about $14.5 million. STI has more than 40 injection presses, with clamping forces of 50-800 tons, doing custom molding and a proprietary line of bar and restaurant products.
STI picked up the proprietary products and its Mound and Grantsburg facilities in the fall when it bought CR Manufacturing Inc. STI's custom business supplies parts to a variety of original equipment manufacturers.
Kole said he expects STI to finalize the Calaware deal this month. He did not disclose terms of the deal, which include cash and other considerations. Tucker, a Calico co-owner, will join STI as director of Calaware sales. Calico is a marketing company and its Calaware division is its main business.
STI, in business since 1968, is traded on the Nasdaq over-the-counter bulletin board.
Kole joined the firm more than a year ago to boost its marketing programs. He said STI will close its former headquarters in St. Bonifacius, Minn., within three months.