Bathware producer Maax seeks buyer
ST. MARIE DE BEAUCE, QUEBEC - Acrylic and fiberglass bathware producer Maax Inc. is looking for a buyer.
Maax is the largest bathware producer in Canada and the third largest in North America since its acquisition a year ago of Aker Plastics Inc. of Plymouth, Ind., the St. Marie de Beauce-based company claims. Only American Standard Co. and Kohler Co. are larger in plastics-based bathware in North America.
Maax's sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28 were C$616.9 million (US$450.3 million). It recorded profit of C$36.6 million (US$26.7 million) for the year.
Maax Chairman and founder Placide Poulin decided to retire and sell his shares, representing a 12.5 percent stake in the public company. The firm has about 24.2 million shares outstanding. Its share price jumped about 19 percent to C$22 (US$16.1) after Maax announced its board had decided on a company sale to maximize shareholder value.
Maax runs 26 plants and distribution centers in North America and Europe after a multiyear expansion spree.
If Maax is sold, the deal would mark the second time in recent years that a major Canadian plastics building products company changed hands. Tarkett Sommer AG bought Farnham, Quebec-based vinyl flooring producer Domco Inc. in 1999.
Orbit acquires stake in China molder
NORTH SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Orbit Irrigation Products Inc., a molder and supplier of irrigation products, has made its first outside investment by purchasing an equity stake in plastics and metal molder Di Tai Plastics Corp. of Ningbo, China.
Earlier this year, North Salt Lake-based Orbit opened a sales and service office in Shanghai to provide real-time service to the Asian operations of Orbit's major customers, such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
Products made by Orbit include hose ends, sprayers, nozzles, sprinkler systems, misting products and underground irrigation equipment.
Precise moves operation, sells plant
NORTH VERSAILLES, PA. - Precise Technology Inc. is selling a building that housed injection molding work at its Buffalo Grove, Ill., campus and has shifted equipment to two adjacent facilities.
John Weeks, Precise president and chief executive officer, said Sept. 11 that an outside broker is handling the sale of the 250,000-square-foot facility, the smallest of the three, he said. The move involves no layoffs.
The Buffalo Grove operation was the headquarters of Courtesy Corp., an injection molder and toolmaker that Precise purchased in 2002. The company had moved some added toolmaking work to Buffalo Grove late last year when it closed a mold-making facility in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The North Versailles firm also has decided to put almost all of its operations under the Precise Technology name, Weeks said. An exception will be the company's caps and closures business, going under the Creative Packaging Corp. banner. Creative was a sister company of Courtesy before the acquisition.
Alcan offer appeals to Pechiney board
MONTREAL - After months of drama, the board of directors of aluminum and packaging giant Pechiney SA on Sept. 12 recommended that its shareholders approve an offer by Alcan Inc. to buy the company.
Montreal-based Alcan had been attempting to buy Paris-based Pechiney since June, but was rebuffed. Alcan's new offer sweetened the deal by about $900 million, with an estimated total value of $4.5 billion.
Alcan officials did not discuss the status of Pechiney's plastic packaging operations, which include a large, Chicago-based headquarters for its North American film and rigid container businesses. Pechiney recorded close to $1 billion in worldwide plastics packaging sales in 2002. The company's overall sales total $10.5 billion.
Alcan and Pechiney are major aluminum producers. Alcan also owns Switzerland-based Alusuisse Lonza Group Ltd., which makes plastics packaging. Alcan has five North American blow molding plants with sales of about $120 million.
European antitrust regulators, who meet Sept. 29, must approve the sale, and the offer also is contingent upon acceptance by more than half of Pechiney's stockholders.