Phillips, Mitsubishi linked to Montell buy
LONDON — Shell Chemical Co. and Phillips Petroleum Co. are declining to comment on a report that Phillips and Mitsubishi Chemical Co. plan to purchase half of polypropylene giant Montell NV from Royal Dutch/Shell.
London's Sunday Business newspaper reported Jan. 17 that the three firms are in ``detailed negotiations'' over Montell, the world's largest PP maker.
In December, Shell announced it was looking to divest much of its chemical holdings, including half of Montell, because of financial woes at its parent company, London-based Royal Dutch/Shell Group.
``We've stated that we're looking for a partner, but we haven't named any companies yet,'' Shell spokeswoman Cerris Tavinor said.
Phillips of Bartlesville, Okla., currently holds about 4 percent of the North American PP market through Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co., a Houston-based joint venture. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi is Japan's largest petrochemicals company.
Eclipse Blinds nabs Scientific Plastics
INCHINNAN, SCOTLAND — Scottish blind producer Eclipse Blinds Ltd. has acquired Miami-based blind component manufacturer Scientific Plastics Inc. for $7.5 million.
The deal was completed Dec. 17, said Bill Macdonald, managing director of Inchinnan-based Eclipse. Scientific makes and distributes components for PVC and fabric-covered blinds.
In the first six months of 1998, Scientific achieved a pretax profit of $900,000. Eclipse says it will assume Scientific's debt of $1.3 million.
Eclipse said it expects to benefit from Scientific's extensive customer base. The deal also will give Eclipse a broader menu of blind products.
Moller to buy TV housing plant in Wales
CWMFELINFACH, WALES — German custom molder Moller Group K.G. is buying the Ninkaplast GmbH television housing plant in Cwmfelinfach for an undisclosed sum.
Moller plans to invest about $8.2 million by 2001 to expand and modify the injection molding plant. It will switch production from consumer electronics to automotive part molding, said Gunter Habig, Moller's executive director of international business.
Ninkaplast of Bad Salzuflen, Germany, closed the plant in October, blaming a drop in television demand in Britain and a switch by TV manufacturers to mainland Europe in the face of the high value of the pound sterling.
The company plans to add up to four injection presses to the plant this year — the operation currently runs 16 presses with clamping forces of 50-1,250 tons. The plant will reopen by the end of the year, Habig said.
The new owner expects the facility to generate annual sales of $21.3 million by 2002, according to the Welsh Development Agency. Ninkaplast's Welsh operation recorded 1997 sales of $25 million.
Moller Group, with annual sales of about $410 million, makes automotive interior trim components including door pillars, dashboards and door trim. The company has 13 molding plants in Europe, North and South America and employs 2,500 globally. It has one U.S. plant in Shelby, Mich.
Sinclair & Rush grabs rival Grip-Tech
ST. LOUIS — Sinclair & Rush, a St. Louis-based plastics processor, recently acquired Grip-Tech International Inc. of O'Fallon, Mo., a competitor in the foam-rubber handgrip industry.
Brad Stack, president and chief executive officer of Sinclair & Rush, said the acquisition will expand the product offerings, materials capabilities and manufacturing capacity of the company's GripWorks division.
GripWorks, one of five Sinclair & Rush divisions, produces a line of hand grips for the lawn and garden, exercise equipment and health-care markets.
Its other divisions are StockCap, a dip molder of protective closures for automotive and refrigeration applications; VisiPak, a manufacturer of clear packaging for industrial and commercial applications; Castle Bay, a producer of golf accessories; and Soffware, a manufacturer of insulated beverageware.
Sinclair & Rush operates two manufacturing plants in the St. Louis area, including a 125,000-square-foot dip molding facility built in 1995, Stack said. The two facilities employ about 300.