Wisconsin Film & Bag Inc. has agreed to acquire three closely linked plastics speciality manufacturers in Hartland, Wis.
The transaction, set to close by Sept. 30, includes bag converter Rikart Manufacturing Inc., film extruder Rikart Packaging Film Inc. and film printer Papstic Converting Inc. No terms were disclosed.
``We focus on selling through industrial paper and packaging distributors,'' mostly in 11 Midwest states, Wisconsin Film & Bag President Jack Riopelle said in a telephone interview. ``Our customers have been asking for us to expand the product line.''
Wisconsin Film & Bag is based in Shawano, Wis.
Neil Kopinski, founder of Rikart Manufacturing, plans to continue as the president of the speciality products division of Wisconsin Film & Bag.
The three related firms occupy a total of 80,000 square feet in three connected buildings. Rikart Manufacturing employs 87; Rikart Packaging, 20; and Papstic, 16.
The plants make printed zipper bags, wicketed bags and easy-opening bags. There are 25 machines with customized capabilities to make bags either on rolls or in individual cuts, plus six film extrusion lines, said Scott Fischer, vice president of sales.
Wisconsin Film & Bag employs 90 and has an in-line operation extruding and converting unprinted, clear, custom-made bags. The firm installed its seventh and eighth machines this year; both are from Battenfeld Gloucester, as are most of the firm's units.
The company plans an October groundbreaking for an 8,000-square-foot addition to the 50,000-square-foot Shawano site. The firm needs space for machine repair and rebuilding, repelletizing, and equipment and material storage and shipping.
``We serve the same geographic markets, [but] the products are entirely different,'' Riopelle said.
Principally, the firms use low and linear low density polyethylene.
The Wisconsin Department of Commerce has awarded two grants to Wisconsin Film & Bag in conjunction with the pending purchase. A $637,990 customized labor training grant, the state's largest such award, is intended to train 123 current and 124 new employees in Hartland, and 42 of the current and 34 new employees in Shawano.
Kopinski acquired Rikart Manufacturing, a bag and industrial supply distributor, in 1984 and began a converting operation in 1987, using printed film from outside suppliers.
Dale Hoyt started a printing operation within the Rikart facility in 1988, and his Papstic Converting supplies all of Rikart's printed film. Hoyt will continue to manage the printing operation and, at the time of the merger, assume management responsibility for the extrusion work.
Kopinski and a partner formed the film extrusion operation as Rikart Packaging Films in 1989.
The acquisition excludes two Rikart Manufacturing sites that Kopinski will continue to control: a printing and converting plant in Bradenton, Fla.; and a converting site in Tucson, Ariz.
Wisconsin Film & Bag was founded in 1971. Company management and outside investors purchased the firm in 1993.
Wisconsin Film & Bag anticipates completing at least one other acquisition in the next 12 months, Riopelle said.