G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s holding company, Sewickley Capital Inc., has purchased Sweden's Rapid Granulator AB, in a deal that includes Rockford, Ill.-based Rapid Granulator Inc., the companies announced Dec. 16. In the United States, Rapid employs 45 in Rockford and Goose Creek, S.C. Manufacturing is done at both locations.
SCI also owns auxiliary equipment maker Conair Group, based in Pittsburgh, but Rapid will continue to operate independently from Conair, according to the companies.
Officials involved in the deal were not available for comment.
Pittsburgh-based SCI bought Rapid Granulator AB from its publicly traded Swedish parent, Industrivarden AB. Rapid Granulator is headquartered in Bredaryd, Sweden.
Carl Caldeira, Rapid's president and chief executive officer, said the acquisition will have no impact on Rapid's U.S. manufacturing and sales operations. A news release quoted Caldeira as saying: "The driving force behind the acquisition is SCI's overseas marketing strategy. In the U.S., where Rapid Granulator Inc. is the market leader, it will be business as usual."
Humphrey said SCI bought Rapid to gain its strong brand name and distribution networks in Europe and Asia.
Humphrey's investment firm bought Conair in 1986 from founder John Reib.
In 1997 Conair launched a major restructuring. The company centralized all its far-flung auxiliary production into a single, expanded headquarters factory in Franklin, Pa., north of Pittsburgh. Conair officials said putting all production under one roof would help the firm produce highly integrated, uniform manufacturing cells.
Rapid will continue to compete against Conair, the announcement said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rapid Granulator's spokesman said the company would not disclose sales figures.
Conair officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment.