AptarGroup Inc. has acquired perfume-pump maker Emson Research Inc. for about $150 million.
Approximately $146 million of the purchase was in cash and assumed debt while $4 million was in AptarGroup stock. Emson's sales for last year were about $85 million.
Emson operates four plants in the United States, all near Stratford, Conn., where it is headquartered; plus one south of London. Aptar plans to keep the plants and 85 injection presses but has not determined how combining the purchasing activities and technologies will affect the 450-500 Emson employees.
Aptar officials said the companies are a good fit, because it expands the publicly held firm's share of the U.S. market.
Nearly 55 percent of Aptar's business comes from European operations, where it claims to be the largest supplier of perfume fragrance pumps. However, in the United States, Aptar has a good position in upscale brands but only a nominal position in the mass market, said Stephen Hagge, chief financial officer.
``This acquisition gave us balance,'' Hagge said. ``Emson is the largest manufacturer of fragrance/cosmetic pumps in the U.S.''
About 75 percent of Emson's business is in the United States. Aptar plans to use its existing distribution channels to increase Emson's market in Europe, China and South America.
Aptar reported 1998 sales of $713.5 million. The company mainly makes pumps, aerosol valves and dispensing closures from polyethylene and polypropylene. While the pumps are injection molded, they consist of 12-14 components, Hagge explained, including some that are metal. The Crystal Lake, Ill., firm serves the fragrance and cosmetics, pharmaceutical, personal care, food and household industries.
``We're very enthusiastic about the combination of Aptar and Emson,'' Hagge said by phone. ``They have been an excellent competitor for 15 years and bring a lot to our business. It will help us grow our sales line and improve customer position in existing Aptar and Emson operations.''
Aptar runs five plants in the United States and has about 30 facilities in 16 countries. It employs 4,000 worldwide.