Angus Industries Inc. has acquired a Northwood, Iowa, plastics processing unit from Morton Industrial Group Inc. for about $7 million. Angus will operate the business, acquired Dec. 31, as a wholly owned subsidiary called Advanced Component Technologies Inc. The former name was Carroll George Inc.
The company thermoforms and fabricates acoustical and aesthetic components for inside and outside agricultural products, the construction market and recreational-vehicle cabs, said Jerry Wells, president and chief executive officer of ACT. He had been vice president and general manager of Carroll George.
Watertown, S.D.-based Angus finishes cabs and has been a Carroll George customer for a few years, Wells said.
The 135,000-square-foot Northwood operation employs 220. Its capabilities include multicavity and rotary thermoforming, die cutting, plastic line bending, hot-melt laminating, robotic routing and water-jet cutting.
Churchill ESOP Capital Partners is a major Angus shareholder, said Robert L. Davis, a Churchill principal. The partnership provides funding to management and employee-owned corporations and is affiliated with Churchill Capital Inc. of Minneapolis.
Morton will use the sale proceeds to reduce bank debt, which was about $100 million, said Thomas Lauerman, vice president of finance and treasurer with the Morton, Ill.-based firm.
The sale resulted from a review of Morton's strategy, William D. Morton, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. He owns 30.9 percent of the company's stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Morton had purchased Carroll George from 31 shareholders for about $8.1 million in March 1998. The Northwood business accounted for about 11 percent of the sales within Morton Industrial Group's contract plastics fabrication segment. Continuing operations in the segment include Mid-Central Plastics Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, and plants in Harrisburg, N.C.; Lebanon, Ky.; and St. Matthews, S.C., that were acquired in April from Worthington Industries Inc.
Morton has annualized sales of about $225 million from plastic and metal component parts, fabrications and subassemblies for original equipment manufacturers, particularly Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co.
Morton reported a loss of $5.1 million on sales of $159.6 million for the nine-month period ended Oct. 2.
Separately, Mid-Central took delivery of a Milacron injection molding press with a clamping force of 2,200 tons and a robotic device. The machine should begin operating by mid-January, according to Paul Schmitz, the segment's vice president and general manager.