Gossen Corp. didn't have a Canadian presence.
Vi-Lux Inc. didn't have a U.S. presence.
Now the two have joined forces to tackle the North American market for cellular PVC extrusions. The alliance was triggered by extrusion giant Royal Group Technologies Ltd.'s November acquisition of Marley Mouldings LLC.
``It lit a fire under us,'' said Bob Simon, executive vice president of Milwaukee-based Gossen. ``It's an offensive move on our part, to build a good defense.''
Gossen and Vi-Lux Plastics Inc. of Napanee, Ontario, announced the alliance May 6, creating one of the largest cellular PVC profile extrusion manufacturing capacities in North America, officials said. Gossen operates facilities in Milwaukee and Cartersville, Ga.; Vi-Lux has one facility in Napanee.
Both firms serve the millwork industry and window and door markets, but each will share its own extrusion expertise. Each firm does its own compounding. Although Gossen does its own tooling, officials expect to benefit from Vi-Lux's tooling, which increases line rates for molding plastic ``brick'' profiles because it allows simultaneous extrusion of certain products.
``It's going to give us close to 8 million additional feet of brick mold capacity a year,'' Simon said. ``It's substantial.''
The firms also will share agreements in sales, marketing, production and licensing.
Vi-Lux previously was known as PCV Plastics Inc. under owner Jean Charles Larocque. Arkadi Bykhovsky took over the firm in August. The 15-year-old firm has provided the Canadian market with PVC moldings for the millwork industry, selling mostly through major distributors that take the product into big-box stores and home building centers.
``When we took over the company, our goal was to grow the business,'' said Michael Chausse, Vi-Lux's general manager. ``We believe the partnership will be beneficial for both of us. Now our focus is to grow the business in the U.S. through the alliance with Gossen.''
Officials would not disclose growth expectations. Chausse said they are looking to add lines in the Napanee location, but have not finalized details. Vi-Lux officials would not disclose sales, number of employees or current number of extrusion lines.
For Gossen, the move means adding four additional extrusion lines: three in Cartersville and the other in Milwaukee, Simon said.
``We're hopeful to have those all running within three months,'' he added.
Gossen's sales are already up 26 percent from last year. The firm reported $32.5 million in 2001 sales with 45 extrusion lines.