PMC Group, which has been involved in numerous plastics acquisitions, has added specialty chemicals company Ouvrie SA of Lesquin, France, to its stable.
Paritosh Chakrabarti, PMC's owner, president and chief executive officer, knew about Ouvrie from his research and development tenure at PPG Industries Inc. of Pittsburgh from 1982-94, he said.
In December 1997, PPG sold its surfactants business, including Ouvrie, to BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF, however, saw the French operation as a possible conflict with its customer base, Chakrabarti said.
Chakrabarti and BASF began talks the next month and took 16 months to complete the deal May 17. Terms were not disclosed.
Ouvrie had 1998 sales of more than $16.5 million and should do about the same this year, Chakrabarti said. Ouvrie employs about 50 and occupies a 3-acre site that includes a 50,000-square-foot plant.
PMC is undertaking significant technology transfers between Ouvrie and its Crystal Inc.-PMC unit in Lansdale, Pa., Chakrabarti said by telephone.
Ouvrie makes defoamers and specialty chemicals for beet processing and other food industries, and processing aids for the pulp and paper industries.
Crystal makes wax blends, slab dips, cable-fill compounds and defoamers for the rubber, food, cosmetic and chemical industries.
Chakrabarti envisions expanding Ouvrie's business in biotechnology and fermentation additives, as well as drug research, and possibly bringing its sugar-beet technology to Wisconsin. He also sees rubber-related technology of Crystal having an application with tire makers in Ouvrie's region of France.
PMC's seven operating companies employ about 600. The group bought the former Summit Plastics Solutions Inc. of Florence, Mass., out of bankruptcy court in 1997 and added compounder GTI Engineering of Kansas City, Mo., last year.