Haemonetics Corp., which manufactures blood processing systems, announced Jan. 10 it acquired the plastic bottle operations of Alpha Therapeutic Corp. for $8.3 million.
The deal, which ends Alpha's stint in plastics manufacturing but broadens Haemonetics', transfers a 25,000-square-foot facility in Compton, Calif., that produces disposable plastic bottles used to store plasma. The plant has three extrusion blow molding machines and 69 employees.
Braintree, Mass.-based Haemonetics manufactures products used to collect blood. One machine separates the red blood cells from plasma as the donor is giving blood, so the blood can be returned to the donor after the plasma is collected in the plastic bottle. By acquiring Alpha's plastic operations, Haemonetics is able to supply all of the necessary components for plasma collection.
"This allows our customers who collect plasma to essentially engage in one-stop shopping," said Lisa Lopez, senior vice president and general counsel for Haemonetics.
Under the deal, both companies signed long-term, exclusive agreements for Haemonetics to supply Alpha with the high density polyethylene bottles and anticoagulant solution, which is used during blood collection. The companies have had a close customer-supplier relationship since the mid-1980s.
The deal "allows us to focus on our core competencies," said Karen White, spokeswoman for Los Angeles-based Alpha. Alpha's business largely revolves around operating plasma collection and testing centers and processing the plasma into other blood products for diseases such as hemophilia and immune deficiencies.
White added that Alpha was interested in the deal because the Food and Drug Administration considers the plastic bottles medical devices, which are subject to different regulations than Alpha's other operations.
"Devices are not our specialty, so why not sell that off to a company that does specialize in it?" White said.
According to a Haemonetics news release, the worldwide market for the plastic containers is $15 million to $20 million. Haemonetics reached sales of $280 million for fiscal 2000. The company operates three other manufacturing facilities in the United States, in addition to several international offices. It uses injection molding, blow molding and extrusion to produce its medical products.