The owner of a Houston custom injection molding business plans to buy a molding operation in Hebron, Ohio.
Anthony Unruh agreed to buy the custom injection molding division of Union Tools Inc., a producer of long-handled tools such as rakes and shovels. Unruh expects to finalize the deal in less than a month, he said in an Aug. 23 telephone interview.
The molding operation will continue to make parts for Union Tools and a variety of custom molded products for other clients, according to Unruh. It will complement Unruh's other molding business, SSI Plastics in Houston. Unruh formed Nell International Inc. to acquire SSI 21/2 years ago.
Union Tool's molding operation's annual sales are about $12 million, and SSI's are about $8 million. Both companies mold tool handles, baby goods and other consumer products. The Hebron plant uses gas-assist molding technology, and both firms do design, mold building, assembly and related services.
Unruh said he wants to buy the Hebron operation because some of SSI's customers in the Northeast would like a molding operation closer to them to facilitate mold changes. His next move is to acquire a molder in the Northwest. Now he is looking at possibilities in the Salt Lake City area.
Educated as a mechanical engineer, Unruh has a varied background in chemical and resin plant design, mold design and injection molding.
Union Tools is a subsidiary of Acorn Products Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, a producer of nonpower lawn and garden tools.
Acorn recently disclosed that its second-quarter sales, for the period ended July 1, were down 16 percent to $29.4 million. The company said the drop partly was due to ongoing loss of customers and products in its custom injection molding business. Union Tools officials were unavailable to comment on whether the pending sale of the molding business is related to Union Tools' recent financial performance.