Founder Antonio Martinez of custom thermoformer Innovative Plastech Inc. has sold the company to a former co-owner and his wife.
Joanne and Jim Gustafson, both former officials at IPI, bought out Martinez on April 2 for an undisclosed amount. Martinez had decided late last year to retire and sought a buyer, Jim Gustafson said in a May 14 telephone interview.
Jim Gustafson had co-owned IPI with Martinez from 1991 until 1999, and his wife, Joanne, also worked there during the late 1990s. The pair left IPI in 1999, after Martinez rebuffed a similar effort by them to acquire Martinez's share of the Batavia, Ill.-based company, Jim Gustafson said.
``[Martinez] surprised us by deciding to sell three years later,'' Gustafson said. ``We're basically coming back home. The key managers already know us.''
Jim Gustafson had worked as controller at blow molder K&M Plastics Inc. in Elk Grove Village, Ill., before returning to the light-gauge thermoforming company. Jim Gustafson is company president, and Joanne Gustafson is chief executive officer.
IPI makes thermoformed blisters, trays and clamshells for the electronics, retail and food industries and dunnage trays for automotive electrical connectors. The company has about 40 people at plants in Batavia and Monahans, Texas.
Gustafson said he hopes to grow the business in Batavia, where the company has a 33,000-square-foot plant and the acreage to more than double that size. The company expects sales of $5 million to $6 million for fiscal 2002.