Alltrista Corp. has purchased Synergy World Inc., a producer of portable restrooms used at sporting events, construction sites and other venues lacking permanent facilities. Synergy World had sales of $10.5 million last year and employs 10. Alltrista manufactured thermoformed parts and shipped restroom kits for the St. Louis company.
Indianapolis-based Alltrista announced the deal a week after it said it hired Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to advise its board of directors on the firm's options. Alltrista has been pondering a takeover offer by its major shareholder, Marlin Partners II of Rye, N.Y. Marlin has offered $30 a share for Alltrista, a deal that would be worth about $172 million for Marlin to get the 91 percent of the company that it does not own.
Marlin Chairman Martin Franklin said he viewed the Bear, Stearns involvement positively, indicating Alltrista's board "was fulfilling its fiduciary duties." Marlin officials have been meeting with Bear, Stearns officials, but Franklin would not comment on any progress.
Alltrista spokeswoman Kristin Claus also said her firm had no comment on the process.
Claus said Synergy World produces "the Cadillac of portable restrooms."
"Our growth strategy for Synergy will be leveraged off our substantial scale in plastic sheet extrusion and thermoforming," Thomas Clark, Alltrista chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.
John Zappala, Alltrista group vice president for plastics, said in a telephone interview that his firm produces high density polyethylene sheet in Portage, Wis., and thermoforms at several locations. The restrooms are assembled in the field and include special sanitary and assembly features.
Zappala said the market for portable restrooms is growing rapidly as outdoor programs and work sites improve sanitary capabilities. Alltrista will use its integrated operations to enter the market aggressively, he said.
Alltrista will keep Synergy's sales force and engineering personnel and add its own design expertise.