Clarion Technologies Inc. plans to extend its injection molding services to include product development and engineering.
The Schaumburg, Ill., firm agreed to buy Mito Plastics Inc., a Jenison, Mich., firm that provides design, prototyping and tooling and program management. Sales last year were about $5 million.
Clarion will turn Mito's 45-employee, 23,000-square-foot operation into its technology center. Clarion, a holding company, has been on an acquisition spree to consolidate synergistic injection molding businesses. Last fall it bought Triangle Plastics Inc. of Montpelier, Ohio, and has invested $9.3 million to expand the operation and add six new presses from 2,500-5,000 tons, Clarion Chief Executive Officer William Beckman said.
Clarion recently opened an office in Holland, Mich., to help it expand Tier 2 automotive sales. It also supplies parts to heavy- truck, consumer goods and furniture industries.
Mito co-owner Mike Mueller said his company wanted to get into injection molding but lacked the resources to do it easily. Under Clarion, Mito will be part of a full-service operation, he explained in a telephone interview.
Clarion is stacked with former Johnson Controls Inc. and Prince Corp. executives. Beckman was chief financial officer for JCI's interiors division. David Selvius, vice president of corporate finance for Clarion, was JCI interiors' director of corporate finance. JCI acquired Prince in 1996.
Tom Boerema, Mueller's partner in Mito, worked for Prince until several years ago. Recently a group of former Prince executives led by Craig Wierda, a former Prince director, injected $8 million into Clarion for expansion and working capital.