A rapidly growing British molder of plastics packaging, Protection Packaging Ltd., has moved into the automotive market with its acquisition of Otford Specialised Foams Ltd. from engineering firm TransTec plc.
Otford of Abercarn, Wales, produces specialty packaging, including molded expanded polystyrene and expanded poly propylene. Its customers are original equipment manufacturers in consumer electronics appliances, such as Sony, and in the automotive sector.
With sales of about $8 million, Otford has a work force of 80 and was part of TransTec's Otford Manufacturing division based at Telford, England.
Protection Packaging of Rishton, England, formerly known as Scapa Mouldings Ltd., was acquired in early 1997 by Padiham Group Ltd. of Blackburn, England. Protection has plants at Rishton and Harelaw in northern England.
In April, Padiham acquired Waddington Arcol Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland, from Leeds-based Waddington plc for $11 million. Waddington Arcol also uses EPS, EPP and expanded polyethylene.
The deal, which took Padiham's packaging business sales to nearly $30 million, extended the company's geographical spread in Britain and added new products. Its latest acquisition takes the sales figure to $41 million.
Protection Packaging now supplies cushion foam packaging to the electronic, household appliance, automotive accessory and horticulture sectors.
The company invested nearly $2 million in expanding the plants at Rishton and Harelaw last year. Spending included the installation of six new Teubert foam molding machines at Rishton and a new boiler for the resin expansion process at Harelaw, a Protection Packaging spokesman confirmed.
John East, Padiham finance director, said the new plant in Wales will place Protection Packaging close to major electronic/ electrical goods and automotive manufacturers. The Scottish and English plants serve other client sectors in the company's main customer base, including the computer industry.
TransTec of Birmingham, England, paid $30.2 million one year ago to acquire Vector Plastics Ltd., an established electronics, appliance and automotive injection molder. Since then, the group has closed one of Vector's plants, the Elliott Plastic Components unit at Walsall, England, transferring the operation to TransTec's own Otford business base at Telford.
TransTec invested in 15 new plastic molding machines during 1997 and is focusing on increased automation of many of its larger injection presses.