BOSTON — Although it has been operating less than two months, Bergen International LLC, which sells chemical foaming agents, is setting its sights very high.
``We'd like to be the No. 1 foaming agent in the United States,'' President Dennis Keane said in an interview at Structural Plastics '99, held April 18-20 in Boston.
It's a big statement from a small company, but the stakeholders, who opened an office in Rochelle Park, N.J., do have a lot of experience. Keane is a 27-year veteran in the polymer industry. He was general manager for the Specialty Products Division of Ingelheim, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG.
Keane said his management group had negotiated to buy Boehringer's Hydrocerol foam business, but was outbid by Clariant International Ltd. of Muttenz, Switzerland, in November.
``Since we already had a business plan, we decided to go out on our own,'' Keane said. ``We felt we knew what it takes to grow the business.''
When the sale was completed, two other Boehringer employees, as well as three sales agents, made the switch to the new firm.
Dick Leahy, president and owner of Technical Polymer Representatives Inc. since 1980, is chief executive officer of Bergen. Technical Polymer also is Bergen's Midwest sales agency.
Rich Long is Bergen's chief financial officer. He had served as CFO of a privately held plastics binding company.
Jim Cuddy, president of Cuddy Sales Associates in Baldwinsville, N.Y., will handle Bergen's southeast territory sales, while Robert Lapierre, president and owner of AVP Sales in Cheshire, Conn., will handle the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. All five men are shareholders in the new company.
Chemical foaming agents are used in processes such as chemical foam and direct gas extrusion, injection molding, structural foam molding, blow molding, rotational molding and thermoforming.
The company's product line of powders and masterbatches are made in the United States and distributed throughout North America and Europe.
The company has affiliates in Europe and plans to manufacture in Europe as well.