SciTech, Brookfield announce merger
KANSAS CITY, MO. - SciTech Plastics Group LLC and Brookfield Group Inc. are combining to form a company with estimated annual sales of $55 million and services ranging from prototyping and tooling to injection molding and secondary operations.
The companies announced the merger Aug. 16. The merged operations will retain the name SciTech Plastics Group, will be based in Kansas City and will combine senior management of both firms. SciTech's Wally Meyer will continue as chief executive officer, while Brookfield's Chris Nesbitt will assume the roles of president and chief operating officer. Both were traveling Aug. 17 and unavailable for comment.
Kansas City-based SciTech was founded in 1998 and includes four injection molding companies: Day's Molding LLC in Constantine, Mich.; Golston Co. in Sanger, Texas; Accutech Plastics Inc. in Marlborough, Mass.; and JD Industries Inc. in Sterling, Mass.
Meyer has said the company's strategy has been to purchase well-run businesses and allow them to operate as stand-alone companies. SciTech reported 2000 sales of $30 million.
Brookfield Group, also formed in 1998, is in West Brookfield, Mass. Its operations include prototyping, tooling and part molding. The firm employs about 250 and had 1998 sales of more than $25 million. The group consists of Brookfield Rapid Solutions of Hudson, N.H.; Wilderness Mold Inc. and Mill Valley Molding in West Hatfield, Mass.; and Brookfield Machine Inc. in West Brookfield.
Mold-Master, Husky face patent trial
CHICAGO - Hot-runner rivals Mold-Masters Ltd. and Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. are preparing to face each other in court.
Mold-Masters alleges Husky is infringing on one of its U.S. patents for a two-piece injection molding nozzle seal. Husky denies any infringement. The firms have lined up hefty legal teams for the civil case, which is scheduled for a Feb. 2 jury trial.
Mold-Masters and Husky are based in Canada, but the case will be tried in Illinois, where Husky runs a technical center. Mold-Masters is seeking an injunction against Husky, damages from lost profit, punitive damages and court costs. Mold-Masters said its damages exceed US$75,000, according to the complaint it filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
The case was filed March 3. Husky filed a counterclaim May 23. The companies are scheduled to submit witness lists by Nov. 9 and complete discovery Dec. 10.
Mold-Masters claims its founder, Jobst Gellert, received U.S. Patent 5,299,928 for the two-piece nozzle seal on April 5, 1994. Gellert turned the patent's rights over to Georgetown, Ontario-based Mold-Masters about two years later. It alleged Husky installed infringing nozzles at its Illinois technical center.
In its answer to the complaint, Bolton, Ontario-based Husky questioned the validity of the nozzle patent. It alleged Mold-Masters did not provide art properly to the patent examiner and did not pay a sufficient fee for the patent.
3D Systems settlement allows DTM buy
VALENCIA, CALIF. - Rapid prototyping company 3D Systems Corp. has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that will allow it to buy major rival DTM Corp.
The settlement, announced Aug. 16, calls for 3D to enter into a patent licensing agreement with an undisclosed foreign party to sell either 3D's stereolithography technology or DTM's selective laser sintering process in the United States. Foreign companies currently do not hold patents for those processes, which some experts say capture about 80 percent of the U.S. rapid prototyping market.
The companies had announced the acquisition in April, but the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit in June, blocking the deal.
The sale is scheduled to close on Aug. 20. Valencia-based 3D will pay about $45 million for Austin, Texas-based DTM. The combined firm will have annual sales of about $150 million.
With the merger, 3D will move ahead with plans to offer equipment that competes with production tooling, machining and injection molding to make short-run parts, said 3D Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Service.
3D's stock, traded on Nasdaq, shot to $15 a share at the close of business Aug. 16, up from $13.07 a share at the end of the previous day.