Rotomolder Logic under new ownership
MINNEAPOLIS—Just four years after Logic Marine Corp. produced its first recreational boat, the rotational molder has been sold to Minneapolis-based Genmar Holdings Inc.
Terms of the May 12 deal were not disclosed.
Logic's 70,000-square-foot plant in Durham, N.C., will join Genmar's fleet of 11 manufacturing facilities in North America as part of that company's Recreation Power Group, which includes 11 brands of fiberglass and plastic boats.
Logic claims to be the only boat builder to use polyethylene in sporting, skiing and fishing boats. It currently rotomolds 15 styles of PE boats ranging from 12-17 feet.
``It's a nice fit from the standpoint of it's an environmentally friendly process and product,'' said George Sullivan, senior vice president of marketing at Genmar.
Logic's marketing and distribution efforts have been slowed in the last two years by a lack of working capital, according to Genmar. Logic was owned by Indonesian investment group PT Sumberdaya Corp.
The only changes Genmar has in mind are to add several people to the 26-employee business and to expand its production to 5,000 units annually, Sullivan said. However, Logic has dreams of growing the business through new product lines, he added.
Logic had 1997 rotomolding sales of $3 million.
Schmalbach-Lubeca moves to restructure
RATINGEN, GERMANY — Schmalbach-Lubeca Plastic Containers U.S.A. Inc. has closed one plant, opened two new facilities and plans to close three more this year as part of a major restructuring project.
The locations of the three plants yet to be closed have not been released, but Schmalbach shut down its Lakewood, Wash., facility in December. The firm would not disclose details about the Lakewood plant, which was once part of Johnson Controls Inc.'s blow molded container operations. Schmalbach's parent, Schmalbach-Lubeca AG, acquired that business in March 1997.
The restructuring, set for the next 18 months, is expected to cut costs by about $50 million a year, Hanno Fiedler, chairman and chief executive officer of Schmalbach-Lubeca AG, said in a telephone conference from Ratingen headquarters. As a result, the firm expects to boost its number of plastic preforms and containers from 6 billion units to more than 7 billion units.
One of the new plants, in Fairfield, Calif., will strengthen the firm's position in custom PET containers. That plant blow molds applesauce, soup and jam containers. Schmalbach said it expects the ongoing shift from glass to PET packaging to open up an annual market volume of 2 billion units.
A 450,000-square-foot plant in Columbia, S.C., which opened earlier this spring replaced an existing facility in Columbia. The plant, with annual capacity for 1.4 billion units, will help Schmalbach to serve its Southeast customers better, especially Pepsi-Cola.
Schmalbach-Lubeca Plastic Containers, of Manchester, Mich., had estimated blow molding sales of $629 million last year.
GE Plastics plans Thailand production
RAYONG, THAILAND — GE Plastics is showing its continued faith in Southeast Asia by announcing plans to build a $20 million compounding plant in Rayong.
The plant, set to open in early 2000, will produce about 66 million pounds of compounded polycarbonate, PC/ABS, ABS and polyphenylene oxide a year. It also will make a line of flame-retardant engineering plastics that officials said are eco-friendly.
Thai manufacturers are expected to consume 80 percent of the plant's output to produce such products as computer monitor housings, printers, faxes, small electronic components, compact discs, appliances and automotive parts. The remaining 20 percent of the plant's material will be exported.
The Thai economy is working to recover from the region's 1997 financial crisis, which drastically devalued the country's currency. The Thai baht dropped 40 percent in value from 1996-98.
GE Plastics officials estimated the 1998 Thai engineering plastics market at 7.5 billion baht (US$182 million) a year. Its primary end markets are automotive, computers, office equipment and electronics.
Chip Hills, managing director of GE Plastics' Southeast Asia operations, said GE was confident in the future of Thailand and that the Thai government's commitment to a free and open economy was an important consideration in the firm's decision to build in Rayong.