HPM's new owners settle clash with O-I
COLUMBUS, OHIO - A sheet extrusion line will go on the selling block after spending two years locked in an Ohio warehouse during a legal dispute between the former HPM Corp. and Owens-Illinois (Australia) Pty. Ltd.
HPM's new owner, Taylor's Industrial Services LLC, paved the way for the sale by giving up any rights to the equipment.
Owens-Illinois sued HPM in January 2001 in U.S. District Court in Columbus. O-I charged breach of contract of a purchase order to make the sheet line, according to court documents.
At the time of the lawsuit, an HPM official said O-I paid for the machine, but after a change in business conditions, decided it did not want the equipment and demanded its money back. O-I's lawsuit asked for $455,000. In turn, HPM demanded $475,000 from O-I for work performed.
Both firms had argued they owned the sheet line, which sat idle in a Galion, Ohio, warehouse.
Taylor's Industrial Services bought HPM's assets in July 2001. Shortly after that the old HPM filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus.
According to a notice filed Nov. 2 in bankruptcy court, Taylor's has relinquished all rights to the machine and all claims against Owens-Illinois. In court papers, bankruptcy trustee Sara Daneman said proceeds from the sale will be split equally between O-I and the bankruptcy estate.
John Downie leaves Cannon, Sandretto
MARS, PA. - Veteran machinery executive John P. Downie is out as president of injection press supplier Sandretto USA and sister company Cannon USA Inc., which supplies polyurethane processing equipment.
Downie's last day was Nov. 20.
Chairman R. Brooks Hammer is acting president and chief executive officer. He expects to have a replacement within a few months.
Downie and Hammer said the decision was mutual. Hammer said the ``reason for the separation was, we reached a significant difference in how we were going to proceed, and we decided these differences were irreconcilable.''
Downie agreed saying, ``Cannon Group, both Cannon and Sandretto, was a wonderful company.''
Reached at his home in Mars, Downie said he wants to stay in the machinery industry. Before joining Cannon and Sandretto in mid-2001, Downie was an executive at auxiliary equipment maker ACS Group, formerly AEC. He also worked at injection press supplier Arburg Inc. From 1991-97 he was president of Conair Franklin, a unit of auxiliary equipment maker Conair Group. Trezzano, Italy-based Cannon Group owns Sandretto Industrie SpA of Turin, Italy. Downie had worked out of Cannon's U.S. headquarters in Cranberry Township, near Mars.
CPS Color agrees to purchase Corob
SITTARD, NETHERLANDS - Two European companies involved in the supply of color tinting systems and equipment are joining forces to offer integrated service to the plastics industry.
Tinting systems firm CPS Color Group Oy of Sittard has agreed to acquire Corob Group of San Felice, Italy, a supplier of color tinting machines.
CPS employs 315 and has annual sales of 110 million euros ($110 million). Corob employs 380 and has projected 2002 sales of 60 million euros ($60 million). The merged firms intend to develop new colorants and dispensing equipment and expand their presence in new markets, they said.
Formerly part of the same group, the firms were separated when Corob was acquired by Swisslog AG and CPS was bought by Swedish private equity firm Industri Kapital of Stockholm.
Ferco Color moves into larger facility
ONTARIO, CALIF. - A sluggish national economy is not stopping color concentrates maker Ferco Color of Ontario. The 9-year-old firm just moved into a larger site in Ontario and plans to open a plant in Memphis, Tenn., in July.
Ferco had been operating in 20,000 square feet split between two buildings. Now it has a 40,000-square-foot site under one roof, said Jennifer Thaw, owner and president. Ferco makes proprietary color concentrates for packaging, toys, medical products and housewares. About 60 percent of its product is based on polyolefins, with the remainder coming from engineering resins or other commodity resins. Its standard order size is about 1,000 pounds.
Ferco will install a rebuilt, single-screw line in January in Ontario, bringing the line total to seven. Ferco also will hire three staffers there for a total of 50.
The Memphis move is being done to accommodate Ferco's national accounts, Thaw said. The Memphis site will operate two rebuilt, single-screw lines and will employ 15. The expansion is expected to boost Ferco's 2003 sales as much as 40 percent.
Ferco's 2002 sales should come in at around $6 million, which represents a 16 percent gain from 2001, but is still below the firm's expectations, Thaw said.
Ferco works in every color except blacks and whites and claims it can deliver most samples, orders or color matches in three to five days.
Thaw spent more than a decade at color concentrate makers Polychrome Inc., Polymer Dispersions Inc. and Teknor Apex Co. - which acquired Polychrome - before going on her own. She operated a distribution business for three years before launching Ferco.