Broad-based plastics processor Moll Industries Inc. continues its acquisition push, buying United Kingdom molder Souplex Ltd., and picking up more European capacity and more thermoset molding.
Souplex has three facilities in England — two injection molding plants in Lancashire and a tooling design and manufacturing operation in Mansfield. The May 28 acquisition gives Moll 30 plants around the globe, including 13 in Europe.
``It was driven by the fact that we are picking up one of the more significant molders in the U.K.,'' Moll Chairman George Votis said in a May 28 interview. ``While we are globalizing our entire company, we are globalizing our Pan-European operation.''
Souplex also gives a significant boost to Moll's ability to mold thermoset components, including under-the-hood automotive parts where heat resistance is critical, Votis said. He estimated about 25 percent of Souplex's work is in thermosets.
Moll officials did not release the number of presses Souplex has, but said the U.K. company will add more than 300 workers to Moll, giving it more than 1,400 in Europe. Worldwide Moll has 4,300 employees.
Moll reorganized its European operations in early May, naming its former manager of French operations, Jean-Jacques de Boissieu, to the newly created position of president of the European division.
At the time, de Boissieu said the company had European sales exceeding $130 million, more than a third of the company's total business.
Souplex's Malcolm Holmes, who will be director of Moll U.K., said in a statement that ``joining forces with Moll gives us the ability to reach into markets which previously would have been very difficult for us to tap.''
``The company's global scope and impressive set of comprehensive product design, manufacturing and logistics capabilities lets us compete in a whole new arena,'' Holmes said.
The purchase of Souplex's tooling shop gives Moll five such facilities in Europe.
Following this deal, Moll's European assets now include seven plants in France, four in the United Kingdom, and one each in Germany and Portugal.
Purchase price was not disclosed.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based Moll has some expansions developing in South America, and wants to move eventually into Eastern Europe and Asia, according to Votis.
On April 28, Moll bought three U.S. and Canadian concept and development facilities from Compression Inc.