Extrusion equipment maker Boston Matthews Plastics Machinery Ltd. has stepped in to rescue Munchy Ltd., the recycling system supplier forced into administration following serious business setbacks, particularly in the United States.
Accountants Deloitte & Touche took over Wallingford, England-based Munchy on Oct. 31 and the sale took place Nov. 1. Terms were not disclosed. Administrators still must dispose of some assets that were not sold in the deal.
Worcester, England-based Boston Matthews has shifted production 100 miles to its own plant, said marketing manager Richard Brookes. The firm has taken on several key Munchy employees, including its owner and Managing Director Bob Hawkins and international sales manager Mark Richardson. Talks are continuing over the future of other members of Munchy's 24-member work force, said Brookes, whose father, Colin Brookes, is managing director of Boston Matthews.
``Jobs will be created at Worcester. Boston Matthews is currently recruiting for various positions [as a result of the takeover] in design and production,'' said Richard Brookes, who said it was premature to give final new job numbers.
Colin Brookes said combining the two firms ``will bring substantial benefits to customers in terms of increased efficiency, reduced cost of manufacturing and enhanced worldwide service and support.''
Munchy relied on export sales for 90 percent of its business, and North America accounted for 40 percent of its exports. The company blames the U.S. recession for its plight.
``Sept. 11 was the starting point. We took a couple of big hits over in the U.S.,'' Richardson said. ``A major customer went into Chapter 11 and another company reneged on a sizeable debt.''
Hawkins and Colin Brookes informally discussed the possibility of a merger for several months, Richardson said in a telephone interview from Worcester.
The companies have complementary machinery ranges and serve different industries. While Munchy looks to the film and sheet segment, Boston Matthews concentrates on extruders of flexible tube and profiles.
Munchy produces repelletizing equipment with capacity of 18-2,200 pounds per hour and extruders with 40- to 180-millimeter screws.
Boston Matthews has 50 employees in Worcester and 10 at a manufacturing, assembly and distribution plant in Norwood, N.J.