A small, U.S.-based PET mold-components producer plans to recast its business around toolmaking after being purchased by an Italian company. Zoppas Industries SpA of Vittorio Veneto, Italy, bought PET Mold Components Inc. on April 14 for an undisclosed amount. The purchase handed Zoppas another piece to its growing PET packaging roster.
Meanwhile, PET Mold, known as PMCI, plans to open a new plant and move into production of PET preform molds, said PMCI President Brent Mayfield. The company will make molds for both one- and two-step PET preforms and do mold conversions and refurbishments, he said.
Tipp City, Ohio-based PMCI plans to lease a 20,000-square-foot building there by early June and move from its 4,000-square-foot site, Mayfield said. The company will spend about $500,000 on new milling and grinding equipment this year, he said.
"Zoppas is committed to giving us the resources to supply molds to the PET market," Mayfield said. "We had grown about as large as we could without outside support."
PMCI was founded less than a year ago. The three former owners will stay with the company as directors. The company will continue to sell PET mold components and expand from four employees to 10 this year, Mayfield said.
Company plans could extend beyond that. Zoppas is attempting to establish a larger U.S. presence. It also owns blow mold equipment company Sipa SpA, also based near Venice, Italy, in Vittorio Veneto.
Sipa operates a sales and service office in Atlanta and has started making machines for highly engineered containers, said Tom Talbot, president of Sipa North America. Sipa's business in the United States has doubled in the past two years, Talbot said.
Zoppas also purchased hot-runner and manifold manufacturer Thermodyne HotRunner Systems of Beverly, Mass., in 1999.
"The [PMCI acquisition] is another indication of Zoppas' seriousness about North America," Talbot said. "They can start out with mold conversions and grow into other areas."
Zoppas considered buying the PET preform and custom mold operations of financially troubled Electra Form Inc. before purchasing PMCI, said Mayfield, a former Electra Form executive.
Under court receivership, Vandalia, Ohio-based Electra Form sold its mold business in March to toolbuilder Wentworth Technologies Co. Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario. Wentworth now will compete with PMCI for preform mold business.
"This could turn out to be a better deal for Zoppas than buying Electra Form," Mayfield said. "Zoppas can mold a young company to their needs and desires and not take on other areas they might not want."