Kemlite Co. Inc. has acquired Alton, England-based Laminated Profiles Ltd. and launched a new branch, Kemlite Ltd., to take over and operate Lampro's Alton site.
The acquisition of the manufacturer of fiberglass-reinforced panels will allow Joliet, Ill.-based Kemlite to more than double European sales, said President Rich Schueller.
"We've been trying to grow internationally for several years," Schueller said in a recent telephone interview. "For us to succeed ... we felt strongly that we needed a manufacturing base over there."
Although he would not disclose sales of Kemlite or Lampro, Schueller said Kemlite is the largest division of publicly held Crane Co., which posted sales of $1.5 billion in 2000. Kemlite claims a 50 percent share of the U.S. market for fiberglass-reinforced plastic panels, Schueller said.
Kemlite's Liverpool, England, office will be folded into Lampro's facility. The company also maintains offices in Mexico City and Shanghai, China.
According to a news release, technological exchanges with Kemlite's existing production facilities in Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee will enhance long-term FRP product development.
Prime Kemlite markets include commercial building products, mass merchandising, transportation and recreational vehicles.
Terms of the deal, which closed Feb. 9, were not disclosed.