Bielloni Castello SpA has salvaged the Dolci brand of film extrusion equipment.
Dolci had faced extinction in February when its Swiss parent, Nextrom Holding SA, placed its Milan, Italy-based extrusion equipment subsidiary in liquidation. The operation, Nextrom SpA, was known as Dolci Extrusion prior to a 1997 acquisition.
Biassono, Italy-based Bielloni on July 22 bought the Dolci and Dolci Extrusion trade names, know-how, patent rights, a warehouse and some orders, Bielloni President Alessandro Castello said, according to transcripts.
Production will shift to Bielloni's Biassono site, although Bielloni hopes to buy or lease about half of the old Dolci factory. Bielloni makes plastic film printing presses and blown film extruders. Bielloni will hire 22 of the 67 Nextrom workers.
Beginning in September, Bielloni's operations will be divided into two separate businesses. The Dolci Extrusion division, based in Milan, will cover both Dolci and Bielloni cast and blown film equipment. The Bielloni Converting division will handle design, production and sales of flexographic printers, laminating machines, slitter rewinders, coating and extrusion coating lines.
``We accepted the challenge to act as buyers to avoid the loss of a heritage of advanced technologies and of a deep tradition in the production of equipment that brought the Dolci brand to 2,500 clients in the world,'' Castello said.
In 1994 Bielloni began to develop its small blown extrusion machinery business with the acquisition of Omicron SpA of Agrate Brianza, Italy. That enabled the company to develop small and medium-size lines in the three-layer blown and cast film area.
The Dolci acquisition completes the equipment range for Bielloni from mid- to wide-web extrusion lines, or from about 5-10 feet in width.
Bruno Tagliabue, managing director of Dolci Extrusion, said the company expects to capitalize on Dolci's success in selling wide extrusion lines in the Far East.
Bielloni, with annual sales of about 8 million euros ($7.8 million) expects the Dolci takeover to boost sales by 5 million euros ($4.9 million) next year, Tagliabue said.
Both extruder manufacturers have sold equipment in recent years into Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay but have seen those markets saturated in the face of recent economic crises there.
Loyalty to the Dolci name has been strong with one Italian extruder, SocietÃ Plastica Emiliana SpA of Modena, which ordered a three-layer coextrusion film line ``as soon as they knew about our purchase'' of Dolci, Castello said.