AutoLign buys assests of small Pa. molder
MILAN, MICH. — AutoLign Manufacturing Group Inc., a maker of aftermarket vehicle bumper products, has bought selected assets of Perfect Plastics Industries Inc. of New Kensington, Pa.
The purchase includes the production tooling and processing equipment of Perfect Plastics, a small injection molder. National City Bank of Pennsylvania had held Perfect Plastics' assets since the molder filed for financial court protection.
The sale price and equipment totals were unavailable.
AutoLign, based in Milan, was purchased in December by an investment group headed by Philip Storm, president and chief executive officer. The firm changed its name from Colonel's Inc. earlier this year.
The acquisition helps AutoLign boost its aftermarket front and rear bumper cover and fascia business. The firm expects to make 455 plastic bumper fascias by the end of 1999, Storm said in a news release. AutoLign officials were unavailable for comment last week.
AutoLign will refurbish the tooling and rebuild the equipment obtained from Perfect Plastics.
AutoLign generates annual sales of about $35 million, according to industry estimates.
Plysu looking abroad to make acquisitions
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND — European packaging blow molder Plysu plc is seeking acquisitions outside Europe to capture new business from multinational customers, particularly in the food and pharmaceutical sectors.
The firm, which has been expanding steadily with an average of two acquisitions a year, has built up a treasure chest of £30 million ($48 million) to spend on new corporate purchases, according to finance director Stephen Nobbs.
Nobbs said Plysu needs to be on more than one continent to attract business from global giants such as Unilever or SmithKline Beecham.
Meanwhile, Milton Keynes-based Plysu continues to advance in southern Europe through its acquisition of another custom bottle blow molder: Plastica Balear SA of Mallorca, Spain.
Plysu bought the firm, which is in the Mediterranean Balearic Islands, for under £1 million ($1.59 million). Plastica Balear blow molds high density polyethylene and PET bottles for the domestic drinking water market, according to Nick Templeton-Ward, Plysu managing director.
Chairman David O'Shaughnessy said the addition will be ``an important contribution'' to the group's growth in Spain. It is in line with the firm's strategy of building a balanced portfolio of businesses, he added.
The purchase was Plysu's third in Spain since early 1997.
Intertape to relocate container operation
MONTREAL — Intertape Polymer Group Inc. plans to close its flexible intermediate bulk container operation in Augusta, Ga., and move the production to three other locations.
The Montreal firm estimates that relocating the equipment and buying a small amount of machinery will allow it to boost FIBC production capacity by 25 percent by the end of the year. Marketing director John Fain did not have a cost estimate for the relocation and expansion.
The firm has enough film extrusion capacity to meet the expansion's needs, Fain said in a telephone interview from Intertape's Bradenton, Fla., office. Augusta's FIBC equipment will move to Rayne, La.; Edmundston, New Brunswick; and San Luis Potosi, Mexico, by the end of September, affecting 89 jobs in Augusta. Intertape also makes FIBC products in Truro, Nova Scotia.
The containers are made by slitting polyolefin film into strips and weaving them into bags capable of handling 5,000 pounds of dry product.
Intertape will be able to enter commodity FIBC markets as a result of the program. Fain said the firm has focused on specialty containers, such as those for handling fine powders and for automated unloading systems. The consolidation will help it compete with offshore and Mexican producers of bags for coarse materials and lightweight products, he added.
Chemtech expanding in Ill., to buy presses
ELGIN, ILL. — Chemtech Plastics Inc. is expanding its Elgin plant and planning to acquire as many as 20 injection molding presses in the next few years.
By year's end, the custom processor plans to move in to a 32,000-square-foot addition, which includes a mezzanine, President Ragnar Korthase said by telephone. Construction began in May on Chemtech's 2-acre site adjacent to the existing, 35,800-square-foot facility, which will undergo additional improvements next year.
The project will expand the quality-assurance laboratory, temperature-controlled mold-storage room, toolroom and office space and provide for an employee lunchroom and test room.
``Our growth will create up to 15 new jobs,'' Korthase said.
Chemtech employs more than 75 — 55 in molding operations, five in computer-aided engineering and design, and four in a shop that makes and maintains tools.
Chemtech operates 22 presses including 10 Toyos, six Sandrettos and two Arburgs for horizontal molding, and three Engels and an Arburg for vertical insert molding. Clamping forces range from 28-300 tons, and shot sizes from 1.5-28.3 ounces.
``We expect to top out at 42 machines over five years,'' Korthase said.
Chemtech, established in 1982, principally supplies the automotive and electronics industries, and recorded 1998 sales of $10 million.
``We expect $11.5 million this year,'' Korthase said.
RPC Group acquiring Montonate business
RAUNDS, ENGLAND — RPC Group plc is expanding its plastic sheet capacity with an agreement to buy the polystyrene and polyester sheet extrusion business of Montonate SpA of Varese, Italy.
RPC, Europe's largest producer of rigid plastic packaging, has been seeking a suitable acquisition for months to add to its sheet-making operation at RPC Cobelplast NV in Lokeren, Belgium.
Raunds-based RPC said the deal will make it the dominant thermoformed-sheet supplier in Europe.
``Montonate complements Cobelplast's dominant position in the European and worldwide markets for multilayer sheet,'' RPC said.
Under the agreement, RPC will pay £9 million ($14.3 million) for the Italian business, which had 1998 sales of 32 billion lire ($18.4 million) and operating profit of 13 billion lire ($7.49 million). The deal is to close by early July.
Montonate is Italy's biggest supplier of polyester and PS sheet and one of the largest in Europe.
``This deal will enable us to become a Pan-European supplier of sheets, with geographical coverage in northern and southern Europe,'' said Ron Marsh, RPC chief executive officer.
The deal will include only Montonate's extrusion operations — the firm will continue to operate a separate plant that flocks PS sheet. Montonate runs four Bandira extrusion lines, two of them devoted to PET sheet and the other two producing PS sheet, Marsh said.
Marsh forecasts increased demand for RPC's products this fall, as a result of widespread anticipation of year-2000 problems, followed by an inevitable reduction in sales early in the new year.