Polypipe plc, the acquisitive European plastic pipe and building components company, itself is being purchased by major international engineering company, IMI plc, for £337 million ($543 million).
IMI of Birmingham, England, and Polypipe of Doncaster, England, announced the deal April 15.
The buyer is a leading player in the field of fluid control. It has subsidiaries in Britain, mainland Europe and the United States.
Polypipe, founded in England in 1980 by plumbing specialist Kevin McDonald and his partner Geoffrey Harrison, went public in 1985. It has expanded steadily from its core pipe and fittings into plastic bathroom and kitchen fixtures, PVC window profiles, roofing products, plastic garden furniture, hot-water pipes and other products.
``The acquisition will be a major step in the expansion of IMI's Hydronic Controls businesses. Polypipe's market-leading position, strong brand name and plastics capability make it an excellent addition,'' IMI Chairman Eric Pountain said in a news release.
IMI reported 1998 pretax profit of £167 million ($269 million) on sales of £1.45 billion ($2.3 billion).
IMI expects to develop sales of Polypipe's products in Europe through the Hydronic Controls' large distribution network.
McDonald will join IMI's board as a nonexecutive director. Polypipe's executive directors — Managing Director Michael Hardy and James Corr, the finance director — agreed to remain under IMI.
In Britain, Polypipe has five plastic pipe, ducting and fittings plants, plus three bathroom and kitchen fixture plants; three facilities extruding door and window profiles; and two plants making other products such as garden furniture. Polypipe also runs a mold-making plant.
In continental Europe, Polypipe has three extrusion facilities in France, two plants in Germany and one in Poland.
Polypipe reported pretax profit of £34.6 million ($55 million) for the year ended June 30, on sales of £273 million ($439 million).
McDonald, 65, recently was listed among Britain's richest people with a fortune estimated at £45 million ($72.45 million). He ranked 550th alongside such notables as Body Shop founder Anita Roddick, pop star Rod Stewart and golfer Nick Faldo.