Matra gains more downstream assets
NEW YORK — Multilayer sheet extruder Matra Plast Industries Inc. continues to integrate downstream, acquiring a controlling interest in Numatech Canada Inc. of Puslinch, Ontario.
Numatech makes automotive, industrial and agricultural packaging from double-wall polypropylene, high density polyethylene and PET sheet. It has been a Matra customer, according to Matra President Herman Sterling. He said its sales are more than C$10 million (US$6.5 million) a year, but he would not disclose Matra's sales.
Matra wants downstream operations to help it launch new multiwall packaging products, Sterling said in a telephone interview from his firm's New York office. It will introduce the new products early in 1999 through Numatech and Matra's other majority-owned subsidiary, KMP Plastics LLC of Los Angeles, which it bought in summer. Matra is installing about 12 million pounds of annual sheet capacity at the KMP facility and expects to start the extruders early next year.
Numatech management, including president and part owner Brent Vickery, will continue in the business.
Privately held Matra extrudes multiwall polycarbonate, ABS, PET, PP and HDPE sheet at plants in Long Sault, Ontario, and Berthierville, Quebec.
South Bend hires replacement workers
MISHAWAKA, IND. — South Bend Plastics Inc. has hired replacement workers for its Mishawaka plant after union workers went on strike Nov. 16.
The plant's 66 union employees, represented by the United Auto Workers, struck a day after a three-year union contract expired, said South Bend Plastics President Austin Drinkall. The two sides were unable to agree on a new contract and had disagreed over health benefits, he said.
Salaried employees filled in for the striking workers until replacement workers came in early December, Drinkall said. The 45,000-square-foot facility now is operating at 90 percent of capacity, he added.
The two sides have not set a date to resume negotiations, Drinkall said. Officials with UAW Local 5 in Mishawaka and a regional office in Indianapolis did not return calls.
South Bend Plastics is an injection molder of functional, under-the-hood automotive parts and operates a nonunion plant in Decatur, Ala. The company has about 150 employees, 105 of them in Mishawaka.
Transilwrap moving to new Ohio plant
CLEVELAND — Transilwrap Plastics Inc., a processor of specialty plastic sheet and film, plans to relocate a plant from Cleveland to Strongsville, Ohio, in a move that will provide the company with room to expand and to consolidate operations.
The company, a division of Transilwrap Co. of Chicago, plans a $6.2 million project on 16 acres. The new plant will enable the parent company to consolidate plastic processing work that is performed in Cleveland, Atlanta and Kansas City, Mo., according to the Ohio Department of Development.
The ODOD said Transilwrap will build a 95,000-square-foot plant and will create 83 full-time jobs over the next three years. The 72 employees at the company's 43,000-square-foot Cleveland plant will be transferred to Strongsville.
Transilwrap Co. operates 10 processing and distribution facilities in the United States.
Schulman buoyant despite rocky event
FAIRLAWN, OHIO — The outlook at plastics compounder A. Schulman Inc. remained optimistic in spite of some stockholder grumbling at the company's annual meeting Dec. 10.
Schulman President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Haines said the Fairlawn-based firm's sales orders are increasing and its plants' backlogs are improving. Per-share earnings for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31 were a record $1.48, said Haines, who added the company also is benefiting from recent expansions and acquisitions in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Italy.
In spite of this sunny prediction, a majority of Schulman stockholders voted to declassify the board of directors, meaning all 10 members will be elected annually. Currently, an average of three or four board seats are up for election each year.
Stockholders also rejected a resolution to sell the firm to the highest bidder.