Color concentrates maker Americhem Inc. has boosted its presence in the fibers market by acquiring Extruded Colors Inc. of Dalton, Ga.
Extruded Colors' primary business is making color concentrates used in polypropylene fibers.
Previously, Americhem's fibers business was focused on concentrates for nylon and polyester fibers, Richard Juve, president and chief executive officer, said in a June 4 interview at the firm's headquarters in Cuyahoga Falls.
The purchase price and Extruded Colors' annual sales were not disclosed.
Extruded Colors, founded by carpet industry veteran Lamar Elrod in 1998, employs 25 in a 35,000-square-foot, leased site in Dalton. Americhem said it expects Elrod and other Extruded Colors personnel to remain. Americhem already is installing a new extrusion line at the site.
Juve said Americhem plans to operate Extruded Colors as a wholly owned subsidiary, but added that in the future existing Americhem products could be made in Dalton, while Extruded Colors' concentrates could be made at Americhem's seven exisiting facilities.
``This acquisition rounds out our fibers portfolio,'' Juve said. ``It also creates an opportunity for us to sell more of our product to [Extruded Colors'] customers.''
Fiber is one of Americhem's largest end markets, accounting for 25-33 percent of annual sales, officials said.
The deal is Americhem's first acquisition since it bought a compounding business in Manchester, England, in 1994, according to Rick Mathew, chief operating officer.
Like many compounders, Americhem struggled in 2001 as sales fell 7-8 percent, but a strong second quarter - with sales 20 percent ahead of last year's pace - have renewed the firm's faith in 2002, Juve said.
Undeterred by last year's setback, Americhem is adding new extrusion lines at its plants in Concord, N.C., and Mansfield, Texas.
The privately held firm, which posted sales of about $150 million in 2001, also is adding shift capacity at one of its two Cuyahoga Falls sites, which will bring that plant up to around-the-clock production.