SALE, ENGLAND — U.S.-owned Marlowe Holdings plc of Knutsford, England, has bought the assets of British plastics sheet and film distributor Vink Plastics Ltd., which was declared insolvent in January.
Marlowe had already acquired plastics sheet and rod distributor Amari Plastics plc of Weybridge, England, along with U.S. distributor Port Plastics Inc. of City of Industry, Calif., for £19 million ($30.6 million) from British engineering group Glynwed International plc of Birmingham, England.
Marlowe is joining the two businesses under a new banner, Valiant Plastics Ltd., which it formed to buy the firms. The British government's director general of fair trading is investigating the deal for potential antitrust violations.
Marlowe paid £11 million ($17.8 million) for the assets of Vink, which is based in Sale. The company formerly was a supplier to the advertising, construction and engineering sectors with a dozen distribution centers across the United Kingdom. It was part of Schuttersveld NV, a leading European plastic sheet and film supplier, according to Malcolm Shierson, one of two receivers at accounting firm Grant Thornton in Manchester, England.
He and his fellow receiver Peter Flesher were appointed on Jan. 13 when Schuttersveld of Zeist, the Netherlands, withdrew financial support from Vink after the British distributor recorded a loss of £4 million ($6.5 million) for 1998 on sales totalling £30 million ($48 million).
Shierson said the Dutch group acted because all of its European companies recorded a profit with the exception of Vink.
``We received a lot of interest in Vink. We were fortunate because Marlowe had just bought Amari Plastics plc from Glynwed. They saw them making a very significant plastics distribution business,'' Shierson said.
The deal will save 230 jobs at Vink, he said.