Maxxim Medical Inc. is moving to expand its already significant presence in medical vinyl glove manufacturing, purchasing an Ohio plant from one of its chief competitors and expanding a Canadian facility.
Clearwater, Fla.-based Maxxim purchased Allegiance Healthcare Corp.'s vinyl glove plant in Eaton, Ohio, on Sept. 1.
Allegiance, which claims to be the largest U.S. manufacturer of medical gloves, is moving away from vinyl gloves and putting more capital into medical gloves made from other materials.
Terms were not disclosed.
Before the Eaton purchase, Maxxim claimed 61 percent of the market for nonlatex medical exam gloves, and said an expansion at its Ontario plant would boost its corporatewide capacity by 20 percent.
The sale cleared Justice Department antitrust reviews, the companies said.
The Eaton plant is Maxxim's fourth vinyl glove manufacturing facility, with others in Los Gatos, Calif.; Mississauga, Ontario; and Aalst, Belgium. The company also has a small latex surgical glove plant in Honea Path, S.C.
The agreement called for Maxxim to hire all of the Eaton facility's 180 employees, said Maxxim spokeswoman Mary Lugris.
Initially, all of the plant's production will be sold to Allegiance at a price that is ``not a very high margin'' for Maxxim, but that will be phased out over 18 months, Lugris said.
Allegiance wants to emphasize nonvinyl gloves.
``We think it will be better for Allegiance to invest our manufacturing resources in other areas,'' Allegiance spokesman Geoffrey Fenton said in a telephone interview, referring to neoprine, nitrile and new latex formulations.
Allegiance will continue to distribute other firm's vinyl gloves.
Maxxim said its three nonlatex plants had been running at full capacity, and it forecast increased growth because of concerns over allergic reactions to latex.
The purchase gives Maxxim added capacity for synthetic exam gloves, an area of focus for the firm, said Maxxim Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Davidson.
Allegiance had run the Eaton plant since 1967. Maxxim bought its own glove business in 1995.