Lancer Dispersions Inc. has expanded into thermoplastic elastomer compounds by acquiring a business from Plasticolors Inc. Separately, Plasticolors announced it has strengthened its presence in European thermoset pigment markets through a licensing agreement with Llewellyn Ryland Ltd. of Birmingham, England.
Lancer acquired the TPE business, which operated under Plasticolors as its Thermoplastic Specialty Products Division, on March 1 for undisclosed terms. Lancer will continue running the business' plant in Jefferson, Ohio, and will expand it in about a year, said Lancer president and majority owner Stefan Hershfield. One strategy is for the Jefferson facility to expand the range of thermoplastics it compounds.
Lancer's main business has been single-pigment concentrates sold to thermoplastics compounders, Hershfield said in a March 7 telephone interview. TPEs are a new area for his firm and will allow Lancer to boost its customer base to include processors. He said the acquired business is about half Lancer's size, but he would not reveal details about either firm's measure.
Hershfield said the Jefferson operation will complement Lancer subsidiary Cleveland Pigment & Color Co., a joint venture with British partner H. Haeffner & Co. Ltd. The Haeffner connection also means Lancer's TPE compounds will have access to European markets.
Hershfield said the combination of Lancer, the purchased business and Cleveland Pigment offer a range of pigments, color concentrates and pre-colored compounds.
Plasticolors had confirmed last fall that it planned to sell the TPE operation to focus on thermosets, and to a lesser degree, coatings. Its agreement with Llewellyn Ryland expands its core thermoset business.
Llewellyn Ryland focuses on gel-coat pigment dispersions and has plants in Birmingham and Hong Kong. Steve Walling, Plasticolors chairman, president and chief executive officer, said his firm's sales of colorants and color compounds have been directed mainly at processors of bulk and sheet molding compounds, pultruders, and epoxy and polyurethane producers.
Plasticolors and Llewellyn Ryland will exchange technology and products in their respective markets. Plasticolors' key end users are in automotive, appliance, equipment, electrical, consumer and construction industries. It has ISO 9001 and 14001 registrations and is QS 9000 certified. Llewellyn Ryland is ISO 9002 registered. Walling said the firms' respective ISO registrations will help customers who do business on both continents.
Walling said his firm formerly had a presence in Europe through an undisclosed toll compounder but that arrangement ended a year ago. The new relationship will mean a stronger base in Europe, he said.
Plasticolors also has sales agreements with Lehmann & Voss of Hamburg, Germany, and Tradex Colori srl of Milan, Italy. Llewellyn Ryland's Hong Kong base gives Plasticolors a higher profile in Southeast Asia.