Many plastics companies are turning to mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships to help them cope with competitive challenges - yet many such efforts fail, for a variety of reasons. For those embarking on or contemplating such a course, it can be useful to hear firsthand from others who have been down that road already.
A panel session at Plastics News' Jan. 26-29 Executive Forum 2003 in Phoenix will feature five individuals active in the plastics M&A field, including the following three processor officials, each of whom is president and chief executive officer of his respective firm:
* Greg Botner of Titan Plastics Group Inc. in Portage, Mich. Titan, a 10-plant, 400-press injection molder, serves appliance, automotive and various consumer and industrial markets. Titan was born last year from the merger of Plastic Engineered Components and Wollin Products. The firm reported sales of $226 million in 2001, and Botner has been outspoken about the bumps and bruises associated with trying to integrate two such companies.
* Tom Goeke of KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast of America Inc. in Gordonsville, Va. This $375 million film and sheet producer, itself acquired by British private equity firm Cinven Ltd. a little more than year ago, has bought the De Kalb, Ill., calendering operation of Alloyd Co., the Greenville, Ohio, plant of Witt Plastics Inc. and, most recently, Portuguese barrier-film maker Neopl stica Holding SGPS SA.
* John Weeks of Precise Technology Inc. in North Versailles, Pa. Weeks oversaw the deal several years ago that saw this specialist in thin-wall injection molding double its size by buying Tredegar Molded Products, and he just completed the purchase of LLS Corp./Courtesy Corp. The combined companies will have sales of nearly $300 million and about 450 injection presses worldwide.
Two Chicago-based financial executives will co-moderate this 75-minute session - Thomas Blaige, managing director for Lincoln Partners LLC, and Jeffrey Kolke, vice president of GE Commercial Finance Inc. Blaige and Kolke have funded and brokered dozens of plastics deals and will share their sense of current M&A market trends.
The Executive Forum, at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, features 30 executive speakers who will engage in two days of panels and presentations that assess supply-chain and industrial design excellence, managerial strategies, lean manufacturing and quality issues, as well as prospects for various resins and end markets.
The $1,095 registration fee includes a Jan. 27 reception at which Plastics News will announce the winner of its Processor of the Year Award, co-sponsored by Ernst & Young Corporate Finance Inc. Optional activities include a Jan. 29 morning tour of Tech Group Inc.'s Customer/Engineering Center in nearby Scottsdale.
For a detailed agenda, or to register for the conference, visit www.plasticsnews.com/forum2003 or call (888) 368-7229.