LONDON — Cookson Group plc is in talks to sell its remaining plastics operations, including two U.S. units — a pallet maker and a custom molder. London-based Cookson expects to net about 150 million ($236 million) from the sales, according to Chief Executive Officer Stephen Howard.
Included in the planned sale is EPC/Loudon in Latham, N.Y., one of the world's largest structural foam molders of high density polyethylene pallets.
The disposal also includes Neptco Inc. of Pawtucket, R.I., which manufactures laminated flexible products and composite materials used in the telecommunication, and electronics and computer applications.
Neptco makes custom coated and laminated films, fiberglass-reinforced rods and yarn, and woven, printed polyester or aramid tape.
Cookson expects to sell the units by June, Howard said.
Two years ago, Cookson Group plc reorganized its materials-handling units under the Cookson Plastic Molding Corp. umbrella, but recently the operations reverted to their former name: EPC/Loudon.
EPC/Loudon reported 1999 sales of $88.6 million. The unit has plants in Latham; Mora, Minn.; and Lawrenceville, Ga. It has 650 employees and annual resin throughput of 43 million pounds.
Cookson also has a plant in Chelmsford, England, that molds materials-handling products.
In addition to its structural foam products, the division also manufactures injection molded items for the recreation, banking, office and scientific-equipment markets.
Neptco has U.S. operations in Lenoir and Granite Falls, N.C., and European plants in Emmerich, Germany, and Bresles, France.
The decision to sell the units follows hard on the heels of several other plastics-related, noncore disposals by Cookson.
In December, the parent company pulled out from its Entek International LLC joint venture, which makes PE auto battery separators.
Its U.S. partner, Emark Inc., bought Cookson's share of the Lebanon, Ore., venture.
In January, Cookson revealed it had agreed to sell twin U.S. and British electronics division subsidiaries, Poly-Flex Circuits Inc. and Poly-Flex Circuits Ltd.
Those divisions were sold to Parlex Corp. of Methuen, Mass., for $19 million. The companies manufacture flexible circuit assemblies for telecommunication, appliance and electronics applications.
Cookson also has sold polyester and nylon fiber operations, and is selling its fiber-optic cable units.
Cookson wants to concentrate on three core areas: electronics, ceramics and precious metals.