Custom thermoformer Prent Corp. has expanded its Asian presence by buying out its partner in Malaysia.
Janesville, Wis.-based Prent bought the remaining 40 percent share of its Prent-Broadway venture in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, for undisclosed terms. Prent and Singapore-based packager Broadway Industrial Group Ltd. established the plant in 1998.
A Prent executive said the company feels comfortable enough on its own in the Asian market, and now wants the flexibility to operate without a partner.
``When you go into a region like that, that is unknown to you, it behooves you to have a joint venture partner to learn the ways of business,'' said James O'Dierno, senior vice president of sales at Prent. He spoke at an interview at Pack Expo International 2002 in Chicago.
``Having done that for three or four years, as it were, I don't think you really need that anymore. ... Now you want to move it up without having to deal with another partner,'' he said.
Prent also has established an Asian headquarters in Singapore and named Bjarne Uhde Nielsen chief executive officer of Prent Asia.
``With our existing operations in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, serving as a strong base, it is our goal to be recognized within two years as the clear leader in developing and supplying reliable, cost-effective thermoforming solutions ... in Asia,'' Nielsen said in a news release.
O'Dierno said the firm may establish a Chinese manufacturing plant also. He said the electronics market has fueled strong business growth in Asia since Prent first established the plant, patterned after its Flagstaff, Ariz., facility. The plant employs more than 100 and was designed for eight thermoforming machines.
Prent hopes to put more emphasis on the medical market in Asia, he said.