Cookson sells Neptco, other telecom units LONDON — Cookson Group plc has sold its telecommunications-related businesses, including composite materials and laminated flexible products firm Neptco Inc. of Pawtucket, R.I., for $153 million in cash.
Neptco was acquired by Cornerstone Equity Investors, a New York-based private equity investment group. Neptco makes custom coated and laminated films, fiberglass-reinforced rods and yarns, and woven printed polyester and aramid tape. It has operations in Lenoir and Granite Falls, N.C.; Emmerich, Germany; and Bresles, France.
Cookson also sold its aerial fiber-optic cable and accessories business to Alcoa Fujikura Ltd. of Brentwood, Tenn. The acquired plants are in Alpharetta, Ga., and Swindon, England, plus a joint venture in Stockholm, Sweden.
The two sales represent "a substantial part" of London-based Cookson's plan to sell off noncore activities, said Chief Executive Officer Stephen Howard.
The plan will enable Cookson to concentrate on its three main markets — electronics, ceramics and precious metals — in which it has "demonstrable leadership positions," Howard said in a news release.
A Cookson spokesman said negotiations are continuing with parties interested in buying EPC Loudon. That Latham, N.Y., unit is a major structural foam molder of high density polyethylene pallets.
Lear polymer blend saves costs, weight
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. — Southfield-based Lear Corp. has introduced two natural-fiber polymer blends for the auto industry, claiming they can save weight and money.
Researchers at Lear's Manufacturing Operation division development center in Ebersberg, Germany, created a natural-fiber acrylic for door trim and package trays, and a polypropylene version for door and trunk trim. The Southfield firm introduced both materials June 8 in Goteborg, Sweden.
The blends of polymers and fiber from plants such as kenaf, hemp and jute will be used for substrates in upcoming vehicles, company officials said.
The acrylic offers a 40 percent weight savings over conventional injection molded substrates, said Armin Schwaighofer, material-development engineer in Ebersberg. In a one-step manufacturing process, the substrate bonds with its surface material during molding, offering "significant cost savings."
Both items are easier to recycle than traditional glass-reinforced polymer substrates.
Filmquest relocating to larger Illinois HQ
ST. CHARLES, ILL. — Filmquest Inc. will move to larger corporate headquarters July 1 in St. Charles.
Later in the year it also plans to expand its PET converting plant in Greer, S.C.
Filmquest will retain its address and telephone number since it is staying in its current office park complex, said John Felinski, the firm's president.
The company will occupy about 5,000 square feet of space, more than double its current office and administration area, Felinski said in a telephone interview.
The company doubled its sales last year, according to Felinski, but he wouldn't disclose figures. It also doubled office, sales and administration staff to eight.
Felinski said the Greer plant will grow from 30,000 to 80,000 square feet. It converts purchased PET film.
Filmquest is part of the Keeler Group, of which Felinski is president and majority owner. Keeler also owns Rez Tech West, which blow molds containers in San Jose, Calif.