Numatech Industries Inc. has expanded its retail and soft-goods lines of reusable plastic packaging by acquiring a controlling interest in distributor Ted Thorsen LLC.
Much of the work by Ted Thorsen, a 50-year-old materials-handling company, goes overseas to markets where garments are made, Brent Vickery, Numatech president and chief operating officer, said July 16. The purchase, for undisclosed terms, gives Numatech a stronger position in world markets for its reusable and returnable packaging systems, especially for apparel shipping, Vickery said.
Ted Thorsen distributes to such areas as Latin America and Asia and offers a Spanish-language version of its materials-handling catalog and online sales, said President and Chief Operating Officer Howard Newman. Newman, who took over ownership of the company in 1975 from the daughters of founder Thorsen, said he will stay to run the distribution company.
Ted Thorsen, based in Forty Fort, Pa., made an about-face in the 1980s after finding the clothing fabricating and sewing business shifting outside North America, Newman said. The company established a global market for its products, he said.
``In the early 1980s, we saw that our original customer base was literally vanishing,'' Newman said. ``We realized we could do two things that would be helpful: expand into those markets and start a catalog business there.''
That world view attracted New York-based Numatech, which claims to be the largest converter of corrugated plastics in North America. The company makes returnable plastic packaging systems, primarily of high density polyethylene or polypropylene, and the corrugated plastic sleeves that are used with Ted Thorsen's pallet lines.
Numatech had focused heavily on the automotive, agricultural and electronics markets before the Ted Thorsen acquisition, Vickery said. The company would like to integrate its products into Ted Thorsen's catalog, Vickery said.
``We'd like to expose them to other opportunities and other products,'' he said. ``That will make them a little more efficient in the marketplace. Ted Thorsen also represents a new distribution channel for Numatech's products.''
Ted Thorsen's main product lines include thermoformed pallets, injection molded totes and the plastic sleeves made by Numatech. The Pennsylvania company was known in its early history for designing a garment shipping container that was delivered with the apparel already placed on hangers, Newman said.
Ted Thorsen distributes products for the food, retail and government markets in addition to its garment-shipping containers.
The sale, completed July 15, gives Numatech a 20,000-square-foot distribution center to go with its six manufacturing plants. The growing company, which has acquired five firms since 1999, now has more than 300 employees, Vickery said. He did not disclose sales figures.
Numatech's majority shareholder is corrugated-sheet extruder Matra Plast Industries Inc. of New York.