Spartech Corp.'s planned sheet and compounding facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, will count Whirlpool Corp. among its major customers.
Spartech said April 3 that it paid $2 million for a captive sheet extrusion business, including two extrusion lines, from Industrias Acros Whirlpool SA de CV, an appliance joint venture in Monterrey, Mexico. Whirlpool plans to buy out its partner, Vitro SA de CV, and contract out the extrusion, mainly comprising refrigerator liner sheet.
Two of Spartech's existing plants in Texas and Kansas will supply the appliance venture until the Ramos Arizpe facility begins production late this year, said David Pocost, Spartech executive vice president for extruded sheet. The two purchased extrusion lines will be pulled from Acros Whirlpool's Monterrey plant in July and moved to Ramos Arizpe, where they will be joined by a third extrusion line from elsewhere within Spartech.
Clayton, Mo.-based Spartech first alluded to the planned, 110,000-square-foot Ramos Arizpe plant recently when it released financial results. Pocost said in a telephone interview that the facility will include two compounding lines in addition to the extrusion equipment. A few years ago Spartech was looking at setting up a plant in Monterrey but since decided on Ramos Arizpe because it is close to both Monterrey and the auto-intensive region near Saltillo.
Pocost said Spartech has supplied sheet to Whirlpool in the United States occasionally in overflow situations but it hopes the Mexican supply arrangement will stimulate more U.S. business.
Bradley Buechler, Spartech chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release that acquiring the extrusion business will represent about $20 million in annual sales of sheet used in refrigerators marketed under Whirlpool, Acros, Supermatic and other brand names. Spartech has a five-year supply agreement.
Ramos Arizpe will be poised to capture other business opportunities as well, Buechler added.