Two senior plastics executives who acquired Tool & Plastic Co. Ltd. will become hands-on managers of the Longford, Ireland, business Feb. 12.
The buyers, Declan O'Rourke and Colm Cuffe, currently work as business development manager and operations manager, respectively, of Tech Group Ireland and will consult through December on key projects at the Tech Group Inc. unit.
Tech Group of Scottsdale, Ariz., also owns a minority share of Tool & Plastic. An unidentified Massachusetts man was the principal seller. The deal took place Nov. 23.
"We look at this as an opportunity to play a leading role in the Irish polymer industry in the future," O'Rourke said in a telephone interview.
O'Rourke will become commercial director, and Cuffe, operations director.
"It is no surprise that they should wish to become owner-managers," David Moffitt, managing director of Tech Group Ireland, said in a statement.
In mid-December, equal partners O'Rourke and Cuffe sold a minority of Tool & Plastic's shares to Tech Group, which gained representation on the Tool & Plastic board. The transactions were disclosed Jan. 25.
Tool & Plastic employs about 50, operates 19 molding machines with 27-385 tons of clamping force and has secondary operations in printing, welding and assembly.
Managing Director Brendan Maher runs the business, pending O'Rourke and Cuffe's arrival, and will continue with Tool & Plastic through a transition period.
Tool & Plastic opened in 1967. The 30,000-square-foot plant includes a recently installed, 1,000-square-foot, Class 10,000 clean room. O'Rourke envisions expansion of work in the medical, health-care and electronic markets.
The partners aim to move Tool & Plastic toward contract management capability and add processes such as in-mold decoration, insert molding and automated assembly, Cuffe said.
O'Rourke and Cuffe helped open Tech Group Ireland's 40,000-square-foot facility on five acres in Mulhuddart near Dublin in mid-1998. The site employs 75 and operates 27 molding machines.
Tech Group Ireland projects sales of about $20 million in the fiscal year ending in June. The operation contracted recently for $2 million worth of improvements, reconfiguring floor space to accommodate as many as 40 presses and creating a 1,000-square-foot, Class 10,000 clean room for an automated assembly project.
Tech Group employs about 1,600 and had $188.4 million in sales for the fiscal year ended June 24.
In November, Tech Group said it planned to sell its packaging division units, Top-Seal Corp. and Star Container Co., and separate its medical-related business under current management.