Pa. mold makers investigate unfair trade
ERIE, PA. - A group of mold makers and tool and die companies in Pennsylvania is launching a nationwide campaign to raise up to $1 million to investigate allegations of unfair trading practices from foreign competitors, particularly China.
The group of about 75 companies, calling itself the Tool & Die Summit of Northwest Pennsylvania, first wants to raise $100,000 to pay a Washington law firm to determine if it has a case. If it does, the group then wants to raise between $500,000 and $1 million to file a formal complaint and seek U.S. government intervention.
The effort comes less than a month after the U.S. International Trade Commission announced it would start its own investigation of the impact of global competition on the mold-making industry. That investigation was pushed by Rep. Phil English, R-Pa., from Erie.
The ITC investigation will not recommend specific action. Therefore, the industry needs to begin its own review so it can file unfair trade complaints as quickly as possible, said Dan Jepson, president of Jepson Precision Tool Inc. in Cranesville, Pa., and head of the summit's government affairs committee. The group is asking for pledges now and will start collecting money when it has enough to begin work, he said.
The fund will be administered by the Northwest Pennsylvania Planning Commission, a government agency. The group is sending a mailing to 5,000 tool and die shops across the United States.
Rogers buys Cellect foam sheet operation
ROGERS, CONN. - Rogers Corp. has bought the elastomeric foam sheet activities of Cellect LLC, a $14 million-a-year business that Rogers will integrate into its Bisco silicone foams unit.
Rogers paid $10 million for the business, which President and Chief Executive Officer Walter E. Boomer called a ``perfect fit to the company's overall specialty materials portfolio'' and ``strong complement to Rogers' existing high-performance urethane and silicone foam business.'' The purchase price could grow in the coming five years according to terms of a performance-based clause in the contract, said the Rogers-based company.
The EMR and SenFlex product lines are cross-linked polyolefin-based materials that Cellect introduced in 1995 and 1999, respectively.
Cellect will continue to produce the materials for Rogers at Cellect's St. Johnsville, N.Y., plant for 12-24 months. After that, Rogers plans to transfer production to its Bisco materials unit in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Hyannis, Mass.-based Cellect - previously known as Sentinel Foams - said it will continue to pursue its core business of plastomeric foams - those based on metallocene-initiated polyolefin resins.
Summa boosts lens biz with Pavaco unit
TORRANCE, CALIF. - Summa Industries of Torrance has enhanced its position as a leading supplier of molded and formed thermoplastic optical lenses and diffusers to the worldwide lighting industry with an acquisition.
Summa bought the Genesta Manufacturing division of privately held Pavaco Plastics Inc. in Guelph, Ontario, on Jan. 4. Summa paid C$5.3 million (US$3.3 million) in cash and notes, issued 40,000 shares of restricted stock and assumed certain operating liabilities.
The business, which will operate as Genesta Inc., employs 50 in a 40,000-square-foot facility and has annual sales of about C$12 million (US$7.5 million). Genesta produces custom profiles, vacuum formed components, flat-sheet extruded products and injection molded parts and is the leading Canadian supplier of the lenses and diffusers, Summa said in a release.
Summa's optical components group includes LexaLite International Corp. and Plastics Specialties Inc. and, now, Genesta.
On Dec. 20, equity investment manager Stadium Capital Management LLC of Palo Alto, Calif., and its affiliates acquired convertible preferred stock worth $5 million from Summa to finance the acquisition. The stock is convertible into 625,000 shares of Summa common stock.
For the first quarter, ended Nov. 30, Summa reported profit of $505,000 on sales of $25.2 million, as opposed to the previous year's comparable quarter profit of $1.2 million on sales of nearly $32 million.
Summa employed more than 700 as of Nov. 30.