Austrim acquires extrusion business
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Austrim Ltd. has acquired a small, Melbourne-based plastics extrusion business, Pro Plas Pty. Ltd.
The acquisition complements Austrim's recent A$63 million (US$39.6 million) purchase of London-based BTR plc's Australian plastics subsidiary, Nylex.
The sale price was not disclosed. However, sales for Pro Plas were A$4 million (US$2.5 million) for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Pro Plas designs and manufactures rigid and flexible profiles for supermarket protection strips, window glazing, chair edging, office furniture and fly-screen splines.
Austrim's Nylex Polymer Group gives 20-year-old Pro Plus a national sales and distribution network. Pro Plus has a manufacturing plant in Cheltenham, Australia.
Polypipe takes over bath, kitchen firm
DONCASTER, ENGLAND — Polypipe plc is expanding its bathroom and kitchen products business in mainland Europe with the takeover of Pagette Sanitar Produktions und Vertriebs GmbH of Bottrop, Germany.
Doncaster-based Polypipe paid £9 million ($15 million) in cash to buy Pagette, which makes thermoset toilet seats.
Pagette, one of Germany's longest established toilet seat manufacturers, recorded 1998 pretax profit of $841,500 on sales of $18.65 million.
``Pagette provides an excellent opportunity to further our strategy of developing our bathroom and kitchen product business,'' said Polypipe Chairman Kevin McDonald. ``We believe we can increase sales of other group products using the strength of Pagette in the market.''
Polypipe already produces compression molded toilet seats at Celmac Group Ltd. of Denton, England, and toilets at its Derwent MacDee Ltd. subsidiary in Doncaster.
Companies cultivating natural-fiber material
BOSTON — Kafus Environmental Industries has signed an agreement with supplier Visteon Automotive Systems to develop natural-fiber composite materials for vehicle interiors.
Kafus, based in Boston, grows, processes and develops kenaf, a derivative of hibiscus plants. The materials can be substituted for fiberglass in reinforced plastics applications, company officials said.
The company's Kafus Bio-Composites subsidiary will blend the fiber with a variety of polymers to create flexible, nonwoven mat material. Dearborn, Mich.-based Visteon plans to form those mats into trim components that will be injection molded.
Kafus plans to build a multimillion-dollar facility that will include fiber-blending machinery, a mat line and research and development, officials said. The plant will have capacity to produce 50 million square feet of mat annually. The site is to be determined.
``By combining various polymers with kenaf fiber from our fields in South Texas, we can produce stronger, lighter and safer components for the automobile industry,'' David Agneta, president of Kafus Bio-Composites, said in a news release.
Gentek expanding Ontario warehouse
CLEVELAND — To meet growing demand for its products, Gentek Building Products Inc. of Cleveland is adding 150,000 square feet of warehouse space to its vinyl-siding plant in Burlington, Ontario.
``This additional space will also support our future expansion at the Burlington plant and more closely align Gentek with the direction the siding market is headed,'' Kenneth Waldron, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
The facility in Burlington is both ISO 9002 certified and certified by the Washington-based Vinyl Siding Institute.
Gentek said its annual sales exceed $255 million.
In addition to the Burlington and Woodbridge facilities, Gentek Building Products operates an aluminum plant in Pointe Claire, Quebec, and vinyl window plants in Lambeth, Ontario, and Richmond, Va.