Repercussions from last month's financial failure of Japanese plastics processor Showa Plastics Co. are being felt as far away as Britain, with the local offshoot, Showpla UK Ltd., going into receivership.
The receivers are preparing a restructuring plan and seeking buyers for the injection molding plant.
Showa Plastics of Habikino, Japan, filed for protection from creditors Aug. 14 with debts of 17.7 billion yen ($121.3 million). Showa blamed cash-flow problems due to its rapid international expansion and the Asian economic crisis.
Barely a week later, two Japanese-owned customers pulled their tooling from Showpla UK of Walsall, England. On Aug. 26, receivers Ernst & Young were called into the British injection molder of components for automotive, telecom and electronics sectors.
Showpla UK has full order books and still trades, said joint administrative receiver William Tacon.
``Interest already shown in the company has been enormous. It is predominantly interest in the United Kingdom, but also from continental Europe and the Far East,'' Tacon said in a telephone interview from Ernst & Young's office in Birmingham, England.
Tacon said some potential buyers have visited the company and he expects to achieve a sale within a matter of weeks. Showpla UK has retained its 150 employees. It also is establishing an injection molding plant in the Czech Republic.
The Walsall plant has 71,000 square feet and 19 presses with clamping forces of 80-1,600 tons. Most of the presses are Mitsubishis, and some of them are for gas-assisted molding.
The plant's primary business is in electronics. It produces large parts such as television housings and appliance cabinets. The facility has painting, printing and assembly capabilities.
Showa holds a 34.4 percent stake in Showpla Asia Ltd., a publicly traded injection molder in Singapore that operates injection plants in 12 countries.