Accu-Form expands site, buys plant
WARSAW, N.C. — Accu-Form Polymers Inc.'s newly acquired facility is in its own back yard.
Accu-Form spent about $450,000 to buy a 22,000-square-foot facility just 300 feet behind its 20,000-square-foot plant in Warsaw. The company rotomolds and thermoforms parts for the packaging, recreation, telecommunications, office products, materials-handling and marine industries.
``We are also building a 10,000-square-foot addition to the plant we are already in,'' said Pat Renfro, owner and president. ``We will use the new plant for shipping goods and quality control for now.''
The firm already has added one new rotational molding machine. Renfro said it will add vacuum forming equipment within the next few months. Accu-Form now employs 30 and will be hiring 10-15 workers within 12-18 months.
Akzo Nobel NV acquiring rest of Akcros
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS — Akzo Nobel NV plans to buy the 50 percent share of PVC additives producer Akcros Chemicals Ltd. held by its joint venture partner, Elementis plc of London.
Akzo Nobel will pay £65.9 million ($107.4 million), including £54.2 million ($88.3 million) in cash, plus assumption of some debt.
``After working as partners in this joint venture for five years, we have concluded that Akcros could be better promoted once it is under single ownership,'' said Rudy van der Meer, Akzo Nobel's board member responsible for chemicals.
Akcros, which is based in Eccles, England, has plants in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. The company's principal North American location is in New Brunswick, N.J. The venture was formed in 1993.
Akcros has developed new patented additives for flexible and rigid PVC. The company also makes additives for polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene and ABS; curing chemicals for the coatings industry; and a range of specialty surfactants for emulsion polymerization.
The Akcros name will remain as a division of Arnhem-based Akzo Nobel. Akcros reported 1997 profit of £9.4 million ($15.3 million) on sales of £187.8 million ($306.1 million).
JPE Canada reports continued losses
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — Injection molder JPE Inc. will write off $4.5 million from its second-quarter earnings to account for losses on its JPE Canada subsidiary.
The Ann Arbor company is attempting to sell or close the financially troubled operation, which it bought out of bankruptcy in 1996. Pebra Inc. formerly owned the operation, which has two automotive molding plants in Ontario.
JPE retained an investment banking firm in March to find a buyer for all the Canadian unit's assets. No buyer has been identified, said James Fahrner, JPE's chief financial officer.
Including the write-down, JPE expects cumulative net losses of $8.3 million from the Canadian unit on its second-quarter earnings, Fahrner said. The figures were released Aug. 14.
The writeoff was necessary to fend off a demand from a credit lender to JPE Canada demanding payment, Fahrner said. The company remains obligated to pay a C$2 million (US$1.3 million) unsecured loan guarantee for JPE Canada, he said.
JPE was delisted Aug. 5 from Nasdaq due to the stock's performance. The stock still is traded over the counter, he said.
Clintonsign biomaterials liability bill
WASHINGTON — As expected, President Clinton Aug. 13 signed legislation exempting biomaterials suppliers from liability for medical-device failures.
The Biomaterials Access Assurance Act of 1998 exempts suppliers of raw materials for implantable medical devices such as heart valves and artificial hips, as long as the material is not at fault and the supplier had no role in the design of the device.
``Congress heard evidence that these biomaterials suppliers are increasingly unwilling to sell their goods to implant manufacturers,'' Clinton said in a statement. ``This bill is very narrowly crafted to accomplish its specific objective — maintaining the supply of biomaterials.
``Although these suppliers have never been found liable, they fear that their costs to defend themselves, if dragged into litigation, would far outweigh the profits they would earn from supplying the raw materials.''