Royal Group Technologies Ltd. is reinforcing its spot on the throne of the North American vinyl building products industry through its acquisition of two Canadian firms that make large-diameter pipe fittings.
Royal, based in Woodbridge, Ontario, announced June 21 that it is purchasing 75 percent of the assets of Le Ron Group of Cos. and has bought all the shares of Fabtech Fabricated Technologies Inc. Terms of the deals, which are to be finalized July 31, were not disclosed.
Both companies manufacture pipe fittings for municipal water and sewer systems. Le Ron of Surrey, British Columbia, serves the western half of Canada while Fabtech, based in Bolton, Ontario, concentrates on the eastern half.
While Fabtech and Le Ron are privately owned, they do have a family bond, Fabtech President Lorne Smyth said in a June 22 telephone interview. Fabtech is owned by Smyth, Paul Gaggi, and Ron Watts, the son of Le Ron owner Lee Watts.
Together, Smyth estimates, they possess about 40 percent of the Canadian market.
Royal could not confirm that estimate but said the firms have been in operation for many years.
Royal entered the pipe fittings market in 1997 when it bought Plastic Trends Inc., a Washington, Mich., maker of fittings as large as 8 inches in diameter. Royal's line of pipe fittings now will be essentially complete, with Fabtech and Le Ron fittings having diameters of up to 48 inches, said Mark Badger, Royal's vice president of corporate communications.
Fabtech and Le Ron will continue to operate as their own entities, Badger said in a telephone interview.
Fabtech and Le Ron also will continue to grow, Smyth said.
``We really never had a sales and marketing force down in the U.S., and now Plastic Trends will give us that,'' Smyth said.
The three companies plan to work out more details of the deal in early July.
Royal has a pair of pipe extrusion plants in Ontario as well as another in British Columbia.
Meanwhile, Royal's European subsidiary Royal Europa opened a $25.5 million plant June 18 in Polkowice, Poland.
The facility will employ 250 to make 12,500 houses a year using the Royal Building System. Royal expects to sell about 70 percent of the product in Poland and market the remaining 30 percent in other countries.
The new plant also will manufacture vinyl facades and window profiles.