EC pushes Austria's Actual to repay loan
BRUSSELS — The European Commission wants Actual Maschinenbau AG of Ansfelden, Austria, to pay back a rescue loan.
Actual and subsidiaries in the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Czech Republic produce tooling, window fabrication equipment and coextruders. Actual also designs and provides turnkey window fabrication facilities.
The commission had approved a six-month, 15 million schilling ($1.3 million) loan for an ailing Actual on Feb. 5, 1997. Austria extended the loan period to October 1997, but the commission opposed the move. The commission claims the loan should have been repaid in July 1997, and asserts the extension gave Actual an unfair advantage in a crowded, competitive market, according to a July 1 news release.
In 1997, EC overseers did not object to the 6.87 percent loan by the Austrian government because it fit the guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.
Actual's situation has changed since the loan was issued.
Comptec Industries Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, on April 7 announced plans to purchase 62.5 percent of Actual, with options to acquire more in ensuing years. That deal has not closed.
Comptec President Robert Gardner was in Europe last week, but indicated through a spokesman his company is ``making an adjustment and provision'' in the acquisition deal in consideration of the most recent EC ruling.
RPC buying Gizeh disposables business
RAUNDS, ENGLAND—RPC Group plc, Europe's leading rigid plastics packaging player, is expanding its plastic cup molding capacity through the purchase of the disposables division of Gizeh packaging group.
The 47 million deutsche mark ($26 million) deal includes a thermoforming and injection molding plant at Bouxwiller, France, that makes polystyrene disposable cups and polypropylene tubs; a small cup and tray thermoforming plant at Laskarzew, Poland; and a distribution unit in Offenburg, Germany. The Gizeh disposables business had been owned by Frankfurt, Germany-based holding company Deutsche Beteiligungs AG. The unit had total sales of about $44 million.
Some 80 percent of the output at Bouxwiller is disposable cups produced on 16 in-line extrusion and thermoforming lines. The plant also has six injection presses.
Gizeh will be merged with RPC's Tedeco plastic catering and disposable tableware molding unit, which has plants in Wales, Hungary and the Netherlands. RPC is based in Raunds.
Hoffer acquires two Alcoa Closure lines
SOUTH ELGIN, ILL. — Hoffer Plastics Corp. has purchased the trade names and assets of two product lines from Alcoa Closure Systems International Inc. of Indianapolis.
All tooling and lining equipment for the Drop-Lok and Plasti-Lug polypropylene closures officially were assigned to Hoffer. Hoffer already injection molds and lines the products for Alcoa.
``We have been making those products for nine years and had the molds and equipment,'' said Carl Podlasek, Hoffer sales manager. ``In addition to manufacturing, we have assumed the sales and marketing aspect.''
Terms of the deal were not released.
Hoffer, a South Elgin-based custom injection molder, plans to expand the business with new customers and new product sizes. Drop-Lok and Plasti-Lug are patented, tamper-evident closures in sizes of 28-48 millimeters.
Lear to oversee van interior suppliers
CAMPO LARGO, BRAZIL — Lear Corp. will manage all interior suppliers working on Chrysler Corp.'s next-generation minivan.
Lear will coordinate the work of seven interior suppliers as well as Chrysler personnel. All seven have offices at Lear's Chrysler Division headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Lear was the winning bidder for the minivan role. Also seeking the job, according to Lear, were Textron Automotive Co. and Johnson Controls Inc.
Lear executives spoke about their latest work with Chrysler at their new assembly plant in Campo Largo, which supplies seats, sun visors, carpet and back wall acoustic material for just-in-time and in-sequence delivery to Chrysler's nearby Dodge Dakota assembly plant.
The new minivan, designated as the RS platform, is scheduled for the 2001 model year, according to various sources.