Stadium Group plc has sold its British injection molding division to an equity-backed management team for £7 million ($10 million).
Jeremy Stoke, a former chief executive of Caradon plc's plastics operations, leads the team. He now is chairman of the newly named Stadium Plastics Ltd. Birmingham, England-based Invex Capital Partners is the private equity investor.
The managers paid £5 million ($7 million) upfront, with the remainder to be paid in 10 quarterly installments beginning in November.
Stadium Plastics makes auto parts, consumer products and molds. The firm employs 580 and runs about 150 injection presses.
The Hartlepool, England-based firm has three molding plants in England plus two mold-making units - Swift Mold and Tooling (North East) Ltd. of Chilton, England, and Torbay Tool and Gauge Ltd. of Newton Abbott, England.
The parent announced in June it would sell its plastics operations to focus on electronic manufacturing services. The future of Stadium Plastics has remained uncertain during the past eight months and the deal was welcomed by divisional executives and customers, according to Managing Director John Pearson.
``We are very pleased with this. We have had a lot of success as part of Stadium Group plc, but the change is good for us now. Stadium has nailed its colors to the mast as a focused electronics group,'' he said.
The takeover does not include all the parent's plastics molding units. Stadium has an electronics molding plant in China, and still owns Quest Consumer Products Ltd., a Chingford, England, blow and injection molder. Quest makes baby products and molds components for nearby Stadium Ventilation Ltd., which makes extractor fans for the construction sector.
In weeks, Stadium Plastics will take delivery of a new 830-ton Negri Bossi injection press at its Hartlepool plant to handle interior and exterior components, including front and rear spoilers and front-seal back panels for the BMW Mini, Pearson said.
The unexpected success of the BMW Mini, which has raised unit output this year to 154,000 from 125,000, has meant part production expansion for Stadium. This year the firm hired an extra 20 machine operators at Hartlepool, where it runs 74 presses, he said.