SAO PAULO, BRAZIL — Brazilian injection press-maker Oriente M quinas e Equipamentos Ltda., which in the past experienced financial problems, is alive and well and making machines, according to a top executive.
Roberto C. Mello, who was brought in by the two families that own Oriente to run the company, said Oriente sold 70 injection presses in 1998. He thinks the company can build 100 presses this year, he said at Brasilplast'99, held March 8-13 in Sao Paulo.
Oriente, with an office in Sao Paulo and a factory 80 miles north in Artur Nogueira, has suffered some troubling times. It was owned by three families, but after a dispute over the direction of the company, one family left. Last year Oriente restructured its debt under Brazil's concordata law, which is similar to U.S. Chapter 11 reorganization.
Several Brazilian machinery executives said they were surprised to see Oriente with a Brasilplast booth.
But Mello, a lawyer, said Oriente wants to take advantage of Brazil's devalued currency to export more machines. ``We are trying to reactivate the markets of Argentina and Mexico,'' he said. ``They are very interested because now our prices are fantastic.''
Founded in 1946, Oriente has exported in the past. Mello said the company has sold 700 machines to Mexico and 200 to Argentina.
Oriente employs 120. The company builds presses with clamping forces of 600-4,000 tons.