Shell selling shares of Norway's Nordflex HOUSTON — Shell Chemical Co. has announced the sale of another plastics business: its 35 percent share of polyurethane foam product manufacturer Nordflex AB.
AB Svenska Shell, a Shell Chemical unit, had acquired the stake in 1985 as part of a joint venture deal with Recticel SA of Brussels, Belgium. Nordflex, which is based in Gislaved, Sweden, makes flexible slabstock PU foam for the furniture and bedding industries.
Houston-based Shell is selling its share of Nordflex to Recticel.
The joint venture originally comprised two Swedish plants: a Recticel operation at Gislaved and a Shell plant in Goteborg. The Goteborg plant since has closed and production has moved to the Gislaved facility.
TI Group plc garners fuel-system contract
ABINGDON, ENGLAND — TI Group plc's 1999 purchase of automotive supplier Walbro Corp. is continuing to pay off, playing a key role in TI winning a contract worth as much as $120 million annually.
The company announced Jan. 24 that its Automotive Systems division, taking in both Walbro and fluid-handling business Bundy Group of Warren, Mich., won a significant contract to turn out fuel systems for an unspecified automaker.
The deal covers the entire fuel system for small cars, beginning with 2003 production for the 2004 model year, said Thomas McDonnell, vice president of communications for TI Group.
Abingdon-based TI bought Walbro of Auburn Hills, Mich., six months ago for $570 million. Walbro makes coextruded plastic fuel tanks, pumps and fuel lines.
Combining Walbro and Bundy gave TI the ability to produce a complete fuel system — the tank, filler pipe, fuel-delivery module, turbine fuel pump and fuel and vapor lines.
Now the division has confirmed that its system complies with pending Low Emission Vehicle II standards. California expects to adopt the rules in the next three years, and the auto industry expects the rules eventually could apply nationwide.
Automakers simply cannot do business without a fuel system that can meet the rigid requirements, said Joel Kopinsky, principal of automotive plastic consulting firm ITB Group Inc. of Novi, Mich.
"All the suppliers have been working on solutions" to prove compliance, which original equipment makers demand, he said.
Malbak purchasing final shares of M.Y.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — Malbak Ltd., a leading South African packaging manufacturer, has closed a deal to buy the remaining shares of M.Y. Holdings plc.
Cape Town-based Malbak previously had held a 63 percent stake in M.Y., based in Bagshot, England.
The 164 million ($264 million) deal with M.Y.'s independent directors was effective Feb. 15.
"As a wholly owned subsidiary of Malbak, M.Y. Holdings will have greater resources for further acquisitions and the company will be in a strong position to benefit from the continued consolidation in the packaging sector," M.Y. Chairman John Grainger said in a news release.
M.Y. is a top British maker of plastic food trays and other containers. In 1998 it boosted its plastics business with the acquisition of two former Borden Inc. thermoforming plants in Britain from AEP Industries Inc. of South Hackensack, N.J.
Malbak operates flexible plastic packaging plants in South Africa and Zimbabwe, plus a rigid packaging division that makes blow molded bottles and injection molded closures at four plants in South Africa.
In addition, Malbak also owns Peteron Plastics Ltd., which makes PVC and high density polyethylene containers at a single plant in Melbourne, Australia.
Performance Plastics acquires Calif. plant
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics has acquired a 182,000-square-foot facility in Garden Grove, Calif., for nearly $13.8 million and expects to start the move in May.
Performance Plastics will move two growing operations, including one of those group's headquarters, from a 100,000-square-foot Anaheim plant 15 miles away. The Anaheim site houses the engineered components group and a segment of the precision products division. It employs 430 and has capabilities for compression, injection and isostatic molding, clean room processes; laboratory testing and analysis; and formulation blending.
The engineered components operation molds high-purity fluoropolymer parts, largely for the semiconductor industry. The precision products business has a segment that makes seals and advanced polymer components.
Saint-Gobain acquired the property from Orangewood LLC.
In November, Paris-based Cie. de Saint-Gobain had combined its Norton subsidiary and its recently acquired Furon Co. unit to form Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. Performance Plastics' global operations employ 5,400 with annual sales of about $830 million. The division is based in Wayne, N.J.
Furon had bid on the Garden Grove property; but, after Furon was acquired, the real-estate closing was delayed so its new parent, Cie. de Saint-Gobain, could review the proposed transaction.