Ernie Green has increased his holdings with the purchase of a majority share of Rexam plc's weatherable films business unit, now called Soliant LLC.
Meanwhile, Rexam also sold two noncore blow molding operations in Denmark that it acquired in 1999 as part of Swedish packaging firm PLM AB.
Green, chairman of auto supplier Ernie Green Industries of Dayton, Ohio, joined with management in a buyout of the film unit for an undisclosed amount in a deal announced Aug. 14. The move will allow EGI greater access to the paint-replacement process within Soliant for exterior and interior molded trim, while Soliant will have a greater chance to expand through an automotive focus.
``We really were the stepchild in a packaging-company environment,'' said John Cupstid, sales and marketing director for Soliant, based in Lancaster, S.C.
Green will serve as chairman of both Soliant and EGI, with Jerry Patton as president of Soliant.
London-based Rexam has sold off large portions of its holdings to reshape its operations. The film unit, now christened Soliant, had established sales in the auto industry, appearing on vehicles produced by General Motors, Honda, Volvo and Toyota, Cupstid said.
Various EGI units also injection mold parts for those companies, although the two businesses had not crossed paths previously.
Soliant's Fluorex brand is a polymer-based thermoformed film that is applied in the press to injection molded parts. It can replicate the metallic finish of traditional painted parts without the environmental problems of a full paint shop, Cupstid said.
``The acquired technology will allow us to do some exciting things with paint film,'' Green said. ``We are also excited about the opportunities we can share with our loyal customers.''
On the blow molding front, Polimoon AS of Oslo, Norway, is paying $11 million for two plants.
Rexam Holmia of Kolding, Denmark, makes high density polyethylene containers for sauces and other food products; and Rexam Closures & Containers in Langeskov, Denmark, blow molds PE medical packaging including bottles, vials and intravenous containers.
Both operations serve Scandinavian customers. Combined, they employ about 280 and recorded 2001 sales of £20 million ($28 million), according to Rexam.
Polimoon is part of Oslo-based Polimoon Group Ltd., a manufacturer of packaging and components for the appliance and automotive industries. The company traces its roots to the May 1999 sale of the Dynoplast plastics division of Dyno Industrier ASA to London-based equity investor CVC Capital Partners Europe Ltd.
Polimoon competed with the Holmia facility, while the Langeskov unit will give the firm a new market opportunity, said Polimoon Chief Financial Officer Adrian Platt.
A Rexam spokesman said the company is concentrating more on thermoforming than blow molding.
London-based correspondent Richard Higgs contributed to this report.