Katy acquiring Contico for $165 million
ST. LOUIS — Katy Industries Inc. has agreed to buy Contico International Inc. of St. Louis for $165 million.
Privately held Contico, with annual sales of about $220 million, makes and distributes consumer storage, home and automotive products, and janitorial and food-service equipment.
John Prann Jr., president and chief executive officer of Englewood, Colo.-based Katy, said the acquisition should boost his company's annual sales to more than $600 million.
``Contico has major sales into the retail consumer market, and therefore, further enhances Katy's strong retail consumer position it currently enjoys with the Woods and Noma brands of consumer electrical products in the U.S. and Canada,'' he said in a news release.
Contico Chairman Lester Miller will join Katy's board of directors when the transaction is complete, which should be by the end of the year, the companies said.
Hanna cutting 110 jobs in compounding
CLEVELAND — Reduced demand has led M.A. Hanna Co. of Cleveland to lay off 110 workers in its plastics and rubber compounding businesses.
Officials at the leading compounder said Sept. 10 that Hanna's 1998 financial performance has been damaged by the General Motors Corp. strike, softness in the industrial sector because of Asia's economic woes and ``continued performance issues'' in its domestic colorant and shapes distribution business.
``We clearly are not satisfied with our near-term outlook,'' Hanna Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas McGregor said in a news release. ``We understand the factors affecting our performance in 1998 and are aggressively implementing corrective action plans.''
Of the jobs affected, 40 will be in plastics compounding and 70 will be in rubber compounding. The plastics jobs are spread out over four sites, while the rubber jobs are divided among nine facilities. Most of the plastics jobs are full-time positions, while the rubber jobs are full-time and temporary.
A Hanna spokeswoman said the jobs could be restored if demand picks up.
The new layoffs are in addition to Hanna's plans to eliminate 260 jobs by closing five of its colorant plants by mid-1999.
Apollo chief among Swissair casualties
SHELTON, CONN. — The tragedy of Swissair Flight 111 has reached into the plastics industry.
Len Kleinman, president of Apollo Packaging Inc. of Rockville, Conn., was among the 229 people killed Sept. 2 when the plane went down off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Kleinman, who lived in Shelton, was on a business trip to Switzerland with his wife, an elementary school teacher, according to news reports.
Apollo recently opened a new plant along the waterfront of Bridgeport, Conn. The company makes bottles for the cosmetics industry.
Discas, Better Plastics forming venture
APOPKA, FLA. — Two companies with more than 80 years of combined experience are joining forces to open Better-Christie Products LLC, a joint marketing venture in Apopka to sell injection molded products for nursery and greenhouse use.
The new company is a 50-50 joint venture of publicly traded Discas Inc. of Waterbury, Conn., and privately owned Better Plastics Inc. of Kissimmee, Fla. It will have an initial staff of six.
The site will stock both firms' horticultural products, said Tom Tomaszek, vice president of sales and marketing for Discas.
According to a news release, the arrangement will offer customers a line of growing containers in diameters of 2-20 inches, as well as pot covers, trays and allied products.
The deal should help both companies, according to Tomaszek. He said his company's products are typically for outdoor use, while many of Better Plastics' containers are for indoor use in nurseries.
Tomaszek said sales for the first three years are projected at $1.2 million, $1.5 million and $1.9 million.
Discas produces proprietary plastic and rubber compounds using recycled and prime materials for footwear, aeronautic, military, automotive and consumer products. It has production facilities in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Discas acquired plastic container manufacturer Christie Enterprises Inc. of Kenilworth, N.J., in November 1996.