DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Injection molder and mold maker Axxicon Group NV plans to purchase Seropa, a French mold-making shop.
Terms were not disclosed, but Axxicon President Bernard Doorenbos said in a Dec. 7 telephone interview that Seropa, based in Caen, in Normandy, expects sales of about 17 million Dutch guilders ($8.99 million) in 1998.
Seropa is a leading maker of molds for smart cards in France and builds custom molds, specializing in high-cavity projects, Doorenbos said.
Axxicon, based in Vianen, the Netherlands, makes one-cavity smart card molds in its facility in Helmond, the Netherlands, but wants to expand into high-cavity mold making for smart cards, Doorenbos said.
Axxicon disclosed the purchase Dec. 4. It comes after Doorenbos said during an interview at K'98 in Dusseldorf that his firm was targeting mold-making acquisitions in Europe and could spend up to $15 million on the growth.
Axxicon is still completing due diligence of Seropa, but the French company is more profitable than Axxicon, Doorenbos said. The firm hopes to announce details by Jan. 15.
The purchase is being made in cash and in Axxicon shares, and will have a positive effect on the profitability of publicly held Axxicon, the company said.
Seropa has 85 employees. Its managing director, Alain Feingold, will remain with Axxicon, Doorenbos said.
The Seropa purchase tops other recent expansions for Axxicon, including opening a previously announced molding plant in Rochester, N.Y., April 1. It has about 10 employees and three injection molding machines.
The company reported sales of $42.8 million, up 14 percent, for the first three quarters of 1998, with profits of $1.8 million. It said it expects income and profits of more than $52.9 million and $2.1 million for 1998.
Axxicon said it has not seen its sales in Asia drop in 1998. It established a sales and service office in Hong Kong Oct. 1, particularly to work with Phillips Machinefabrieken in making CD molds.
Axxicon recently finished an expansion of its EDM capabilities at its United Kingdom plant in Cleveleys. The plant needs to upgrade because its customers in telecommunications and consumer markets are increasingly using automated assembly equipment, requiring uniformity in cavities, officials said.