Ampacet Corp. has wrapped up the three acquisitions it announced at NPE 2003 and is advancing on expansions at six other plants.
The Tarrytown, N.Y.-based color concentrates leader made a splash at NPE 2003 by announcing acquisitions of businesses in Italy, England and Brazil; and expansions in Canada and Thailand.
By completing its purchase of Corland of Camicari in Camicari, Brazil, Ampacet improved its service to the Brazilian film market, officials said in a Nov. 13 news release. Purchases of Polimaster srl in Milan, Italy, and PolyColour Ltd. in Telford, England - with a total of 14 production lines - greatly expanded Ampacet's presence in the European flexible and rigid packaging markets. Ampacet officials declined to reveal how much the privately held firm spent on the acquisitions.
The Canadian move calls for Ampacet to occupy a new, 72,000-square-foot plant in Delta, British Columbia, in the spring. Four of that plant's five extrusion lines will be dedicated to custom color masterbatches.
In Rayong, Thailand, a 30,000-square-foot expansion has been completed and a pair of new twin-screw extrusion lines are set to begin production in May. Ampacet's position in Thailand allows it to avoid rushing into the burgeoning Chinese market, according to Ampacet President and Chief Executive Officer Robert DeFalco.
``We have a very good cost position in Thailand, so there's no pressure for us to move into China,'' DeFalco said by telephone Nov. 13. ``We'll be [in China] eventually, just so we don't have all our eggs in one basket where Asia is concerned.''
Current plans call for Ampacet to at least have started construction on a Chinese plant by late 2005. The site probably will be near Shanghai, where Ampacet operates a sales office.
India may be next on the horizon for Ampacet, since the company opened a sales office in Mumbai earlier this year. DeFalco confirmed Ampacet has an interest in the Indian market, but he added that, unlike China, most growth in the Indian plastics market has come from domestic firms.
Ampacet officials also confirmed four additions to existing sites that they hadn't discussed at NPE. Those moves are:
* Installing a new twin-screw line in Heath, Ohio, for small-lot, custom color masterbatch work. The line should be operating in early 2004.
* Adding two new twin-screw extruders in Telgate, Italy. The lines were up in early 2003.
* Adding masterbatch capabilites for the biaxially oriented polypropylene film market in Tortuguitas, Argentina. A new twin-screw line will be in place there by the end of 2004.
* Installing a new twin-screw line earlier this month to expand small-lot, custom color production in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Most of those purchases and projects are designed to move Ampacet from its core business of white and black concentrates for the film market into a more-diverse product mix, including color concentrates and grades for injection and blow molding.
``The transition is going well,'' DeFalco said. ``We've developed a good, international image. These moves will have us competing more with the PolyOnes and Clariants of the world. They'll be seeing us more than they ever have.''
The acquisitions and expansions will add about 35 jobs to Ampacet's global workforce. The firm expects to post sales of $550 million in 2003, a year-on-year jump of about 10 percent.
Prior to the foreign acquisitions, Ampacet already was generating 40 percent of its sales from outside North America. DeFalco said the firm has not estimated what its non-North American sales percentage will be in 2004.