Luggage giant Samsonite Corp. has exited custom injection molding by selling its Engineered Plastics Division.
The division in Stratford, Ontario, makes a variety of precision parts mainly for automotive applications. Aegis Strategic Investment Corp. of London, Ontario, bought the business through a separate company, Stratford Plastic Components Corp.
``This transaction is part of Samsonite's ongoing strategy of refocusing on our core businesses and adapting to the competitive realities of the travel industry,'' said Berk Thornton, Sam- sonite's vice president of licensing and acquisitions.
Samsonite has been hit hard by a slump in the travel industry resulting from terrorist attacks in 2001. In its second quarter, ended July 31, Samsonite had a net loss of $1.1 million on sales of $187.1 million.
The molding operation, with annual sales of about C$12 million (US$7.7 million) was not integrated with Samsonite's manufacturing operations for luggage and travel items.
Terms of the sale were not released.
Stratford Plastic will serve as a major platform for automotive and other injection molding and plastics technologies for North America, Mark Heisz, Aegis chief executive officer and majority shareholder, said in a Nov. 1 news release.
Heisz, also president of Stratford Plastic, said he wants to grow the business internally and through acquisitions. It now employs 135 in a 60,000-square-foot facility.
Samsonite, based in Denver, closed its luggage-related plastics operations there in the spring of 2001 and moved them to Mexico and India. It does plastics processing in those countries, in Belgium and globally.
In addition to luggage it makes business cases, travel accessories, handbags, furniture and other products.