DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Wentworth Mould & Die Co. Ltd. has purchased a Canadian mold builder that specializes in thin-wall packaging containers, but still is searching for a toolmaker in the United Kingdom after earlier negotiations fell apart.
Wentworth purchased Izon Industries Inc., a mold builder in Brampton, Ontario, in mid-October to expand into an area where it did not have mold-building skills, said Walter Kuskowski, president of the Hamilton, Ontario, firm.
Kuskowski announced the purchase during an interview at the K'98 show, but declined to disclose terms of the deal.
``This is a completely synergistic purchase,'' he said. ``Some of our existing customers have these product lines and have a need for tooling.''
Izon employs about 50 and has annual sales of between C$6 million and C$8 million (US$3.9 million and $US5.2 million), Kuskowski said. One of Wentworth's subsidiaries, Accurate Mould Co. Ltd., has worked with Izon.
Izon's management, founder Jim Sheffield and Tom Mahaise, will remain as co-managers.
While this purchase is local, the firm is in the midst of building a global platform for mold building and is seeing strong growth in its recently acquired Polish subsidiary, formerly ZPNP but renamed Wentworth Tech Sp. z o.o., Kuskowski said.
``Our presence in Eastern Europe is helping us secure more orders from multinational companies that have a presence in the region,'' he said. ``Customers like to have a local presence, in case something goes wrong.''
The company is working with multinational automakers, packaging companies and electronics manufacturers in Poland, he said. Wentworth has taken about 15 Polish employees to Canada for training on computer design and other new technologies, he said.
Wentworth still is looking for a toolmaker in the United Kingdom, after earlier talks broke down, Kuskowski said. The firm said in December 1997 it was close to purchasing a British firm, but that stalled, he said. He declined to elaborate.
Wentworth is looking for a U.K. blow mold maker, but would consider a tooling firm in injection molding that could be expanded, Kuskowski said.
Wentworth is seeing more than 20 percent growth a year, and wants to hit $100 million in annual sales in a few years, up from the $40 million to $50 million range now, he said. He declined to elaborate on other possible acquisitions.
The company has been affected in only ``minor ways'' by the downturn in the world economy, mainly because its multinational customers so far are continuing to push ahead with their projects, he said. The firm's largest markets remain the United States and Europe, he said.