Stull Technologies moving headquarters
RANDOLPH, N.J. — By the end of the year, custom closures maker Stull Technologies plans to move its headquarters from Randolph to Somerset, N.J., centralizing manufacturing and administrative operations.
``The combination of our operations into the Somerset facility will act as a critical springboard for our company,'' said Gene Stull, chairman and chief executive officer.
The change will shorten lines of communication, improve product development and make the company more responsive to customers, he said.
The 181,000-square-foot plant is being renovated to accommodate additional personnel and manufacturing capacity. Nearly all 200 employees at Randolph will move to Somerset, which will operate about 50 injection presses. Company officials would not disclose how much they are investing in the Somerset plant.
``This is a tremendous cost savings,'' Chris Evans, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a telephone interview. ``The [Somerset] plant was a great deal when we purchased it six or seven years ago. We knew that if the time ever came to expand, that would be the plant where it would happen. Randolph is busting at the seams.''
Stull plans to sell the 54,000-square-foot Randolph plant and adjacent undeveloped industrial property as soon as possible.
Stull specializes in custom-designed closures for the packaging industry. The company reported injection molding sales of $29 million last year.
Uponor ups its stake in Unicor Holding AG
ESPOO, FINLAND — Uponor Group of Espoo is upping its stake in a German pipe, fittings and processing machinery manufacturer.
Uponor agreed to purchase enough stock to give it a 50.1 percent share of Unicor Holding AG of Hassfurt, Germany, by Jan. 1.
The Finnish pipe giant purchased a 40 percent stake in Unicor in 1997. Unicor, which specializes in plastic-aluminum composite pipes for hot water, expects to reach sales of 230 million deutsche marks ($127 million) in 1998, according to an Uponor news release.
Uponor said its sales should reach 4.8 billion Finnish markkaa ($877 million) in 1998.
Huhtamaki goes from two to four divisions
ESPOO, FINLAND — Huhtamaki Oy is restructuring into four divisions in response to the changing shape of its packaging business.
The Espoo-based company now has divisions concentrating on confectionery, food packaging, food service and trade packaging. It formerly had only confectionery and packaging divisions.
``Huhtamaki's organization has changed very little over the past 10 years, although our business structure is now totally different,'' Timo Peltola, chief executive officer, said in a news release. In 1999, some 70 percent of the company's sales will come from food packaging, he said.
The company recently acquired the European polystyrene foam packaging interests of Huntsman Packaging Corp. of Salt Lake City.
Polarcup President Matti Tikkakoski will take charge of packaging as executive vice president and chief operating officer for packaging operations. He also will become deputy chief executive of the parent firm.
The trade packaging division will be headed by Hannu Kottonen, formerly senior group vice president for finance.
Sidlaw purchasing packaging converter
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — Flexible packaging manufacturer Sidlaw plc is acquiring Livingston, Scotland-based film and paper packaging converter S&R Ltd. for £4.3 million ($7 million).
S&R, whose clientele includes international candy companies, produces gravure-printed paper and film, including polypropylene, polyethylene, polyester and laminates, according to a spokeswoman for Sidlaw of Edinburgh.
S&R reported an operating profit of almost $230,000 on sales of $14.5 million for the year ended Oct. 31. The firm had bought BPC Broadley Gravure Ltd., a paper packaging printing firm, from British Printing Co. Ltd. just before its own acquisition.
Sidlaw officials said the S&R purchase is the first step in a plan to expand through acquisitions in Europe.
``Today's acquisition of S&R, albeit modest, is evidence of our determination to increase the scale of our operations and strengthen our market positions through acquisition,'' Chief Executive Officer John Durston said in a news release.
Sidlaw extrudes packaging films in England and Spain, and is considering an expansion of its extrusion capacity.
Sola taking action to prevent takeovers
MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Eyeglass lens maker Sola International Inc. adopted a shareholder rights plan for protection from unwanted takeover tactics. No specific takeover activity is pending, the company said Aug. 27.
Sola focuses primarily on the fast-growing plastic lens segment of the global lens market and has moved toward higher-margin, value-added products.
Under the plan, the company will distribute rights to common shareholders of record Sept. 9. The rights expire after 10 years.
Menlo Park-based Sola employs 7,800 in 27 countries and reported profit of $11.3 million on sales of $129.5 million for the first quarter, ended June 30.