Synetic Inc. has bought medical molder KippGroup for $52.1 million, its second purchase of an injection molder in the health-care market in the past year.
The Jan. 14 acquisition boosts Synetic's presence in high-precision injection molding and tool building, said Victor Marrero, vice president of corporate development for the Elmwood Park, N.J., firm.
The deal also launches a new medical products group for publicly held Synetic. Synetic is in an ``active acquisition'' program for more plastic molders to broaden both its products and capabilities, he said.
KippGroup in Ontario, Calif., had 1997 sales of about $22.8 million and more than 30 molding machines, he said. The custom molder, toolmaker and maker of proprietary products will be a wholly owned Synetic unit. The purchase is a stock transaction, and the price tag could exceed $65 million if earnings targets are met.
KippGroup President David Kipp and Senior Vice President James Kipp will remain in those positions, Marrero said.
The purchase will boost Synetic's plastics processing sales — including its porous plastic filters and related products — from about $89 million to a little more than $110 million, Marrero said. KippGroup's proprietary products unit, with its luer connectors and automatic stopcocks, will give Synetic more to offer to the rapidly consolidating firms in health-care products distribution business, Marrero said.
``We view this as the launch of a new medical products group which we intend to grow through internal growth and through acquisitions,'' he said.
Synetic paid $86 million for another California molder, Point Plastics in Petaluma, early last year. Before that, 80 percent of Synetic's sales came from its porous media group, which makes porous plastic filters for medical applications, air fresheners and plastic vents in auto batteries.
The company also has been putting money into developing a health-care communications business, but has yet to see any sales. Not counting the Point Plastics acquisition, Synetic had $64.9 million in sales in the year ended June 30, with profit of $9 million.