Courtesy purchases toolmaking shop
BUFFALO GROVE, ILL. — Custom injection molder and mold maker Courtesy Corp. has purchased Stier Mold & Tool, a small toolmaking shop in Lake Geneva, Wis.
Courtesy President Gerald Sommers said that within a year he wants to expand Stier from 15 employees and $2.5 million in annual sales to 35 employees and $6 million in annual sales.
The shop had been owned by Paul and Carolyn Stier. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Sommers said Courtesy plans to add $1 million worth of equipment to the facility.
The shop gives Courtesy its first toolmaking capability outside its large Buffalo Grove headquarters, which employs about 180 toolmakers. The purchase was completed Dec. 10.
Courtesy placed 31st in the 1998 Plastics News' ranking of injection molders, with $152 million in sales.
Nova to close newly acquired PS plant
CALGARY, ALBERTA — Nova Chemicals plans to close a 120 million-pound-per-year polystyrene plant it recently acquired in Peru, Ill.
Calgary-based Nova announced the closing Jan. 4 — the same day it finalized its deal to acquire most of Huntsman Corp.'s styrenics business for $637 million.
``The polystyrene business is struggling and we must make choices about which plants we can profitably operate,'' Bill Greene, Nova operations and styrene vice president, said in a news release.
PS profitability and pricing have declined since 1997 because of overcapacity. Huntsman of Salt Lake City and BASF Corp. of Mount Olive, N.J., each shut down capacity in late 1997.
The Peru plant was the smallest of the five solid PS plants Nova acquired from Huntsman. Huntsman will continue to produce expanded PS at the site.
Huntsman's EPS business originally was included in the sale to Nova, but was removed out of concern it would give Nova too much market share in the eyes of federal regulators. The removal of the EPS business, combined with other negotiated adjustments, reduced the value of the deal by $107 million.
Window fabricator shuffling work force
MOSINEE, WIS. — SNE Enterprises in Mosinee announced what it hopes will be a temporary layoff of about 210 employees at its window manufacturing plant.
The layoff, which begins in mid-February and is expected to last a few months, actually is more of a growing pain for the 100-year-old company than a belt-tightening, according to human resources manager Pat Wierzba.
The wood-window manufacturer ventured into vinyl window production about two years ago, adding vinyl window fabrication lines in Mosinee and opening a plant for vinyl operations in Huntington, W.Va.
The vinyl window business is doing so well, the company has decided to separate the operations completely, Wierzba said.
During the layoff, the company will move the vinyl fabrication lines in Mosinee to Huntington, where it eventually will add about 210 jobs, Wierzba said.
EcoTrust buys Wood Composite shares
NISKU, ALBERTA — EcoTrust Technologies Inc. of Harrisonburg, Va., will buy 32.5 million shares of Nisku-based Wood Composite Technologies Inc. in three installments through March 31, at an average share price of $0.0831. The $2.7 million investment will give EcoTrust a 51 percent stake in Wood Composite.
The investment will help Wood Composite add extrusion lines and expand its plant from 20,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet. The firm now operates five lines and employs 25.
Wood Composite extrudes virgin PVC and wood fiber to make profiles for the construction industry, particularly door and window jams. The firm trades on the Alberta Stock Exchange.
EcoTrust uses recycled plastics and fibers to make composites with steel for use in marine and industrial decking.
The Vinyl Institute is moving from Morristown, N.J., to the main office of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington, effective Feb. 1. ... A Jan. 4 fire in a flake tank at the Solvay Polymers Inc. petrochemicals plant in Deer Park, Texas, will not affect the company's production of high density polyethylene, company officials said.