Struggling mold and equipment supplier Electra Form Inc. now has shed its remaining assets after entering court-ordered receivership in February. Vandalia, Ohio-based Electra Form sold its RSB line of blow molding machines March 17 to Autotec Inc., a custom machine builder in Sylvania, Ohio.
And on March 31, the Electra Group, a holding company for Electra Form, sold injection mold maker Carson Tool & Mold to Carson's sales director.
Terms of both deals were not announced. But they represented the last chapters in the demise of the 20-year-old company, even though its name could live on through some of the transactions.
Blow and injection mold builder Wentworth Technologies Co. Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario, had purchased the bulk of the company March 8. That deal included Electra Form's injection molds for PET preform business, its custom mold operations and related equipment.
Wentworth created a division, Electra Form Industries Inc., for its preform tooling and custom mold work, said Bill Chappelear, sales and marketing vice president for the new division.
Electra Form Inc. founder and President Stephen Bright died in 1998. The company had about $7 million in debt when it entered receivership Feb. 3.
"When Steve [Bright] passed away, management here was given the first opportunity to step in and buy Carson," said David Myers, the new owner and president of Kennesaw, Ga.-based Carson Tool. "We wanted to keep the company the same as it was. It has a nice history."
Bright's holding company had purchased the 45-year-old mold shop in 1989. At the time, Bright wanted to expand outside Ohio and add a tool shop, said Myers, a former Carson apprentice who worked at the company for 27 years.
Carson plans to add nine employees within the next year, boosting total employment to 30, Myers said, adding Carson recorded $2.5 million in sales last year.
The RSB acquisition gives Autotec a new product line of standard blow mold machines and a broader customer base, said Autotec President Tom Ballay.
The company's first move will be to re-establish the RSB brand, Ballay said.
The stretch blow molding line will be renamed Autotec RSB. The machines were first introduced in 1996.
"This opens the PET side for us," said Ballay, whose company sells secondary equipment and assembles systems for extrusion blow molding.
RSB machines are tailored to low-volume applications and can be customized for specialty applications, such as wide-mouth bottles.
Autotec purchased RSB's intellectual property rights, patents, designs and spare-parts inventory with the existing machines, Ballay said. The operation has been moved to Autotec's Sylvania plant.
Before the purchase, Autotec expected to record $7 million in sales in 2000, Ballay said.