Continuing to expand its sheet capacity, Spartech Corp. has purchased the assets of a recently closed extruder and is adding space to a facility in France.
In a deal completed Jan. 5, the Clayton, Mo.-based company paid $2 million to buy the assets of Quality Plastic Sheet LLC from Bank One N.A., which had held the assets in receivership. QPS closed its single facility, in Elkhart, Ind., on Dec. 29 and laid off 38 employees, according to a company employee who did not want his name used.
The polyethylene custom sheet extruder, opened in 1993, previously had been owned by Indianapolis-based Nordberg Engel and Cohen Investments LLC. The company recorded about $7 million in sales last year, the employee said.
The deal included three heavy-gauge extrusion lines - including two 6-inch extruders and one 41/2-inch extruder - that produced about 15 million pounds of material annually, Spartech said. Two of the lines are only about 2 years old.
As part of the purchase, Spartech also entered a long-term supply agreement with a former, undisclosed QPS customer to supply about 6 million pounds of PE sheet annually, said David Pocost, Spartech executive vice president for extruded sheet.
Spartech will route one of the three machines to a new research and development center being completed at its Warsaw, Ind., site, Pocost said. The company will add about 30,000 square feet to the Warsaw facility before opening it this summer. The center will include a light-gauge line for PE film and some thermoforming capabilities, he said.
The other two lines from QPS potentially will shift to Spartech Custom Sheet & Rollstock plants in either Greenville, Ohio, or Richmond, Ind., Pocost said.
The company also is expanding a sheet extrusion and compounding plant in Donchery, France, after receiving a contract from automotive supplier Visteon Corp. to supply high density PE sheet for multilayer fuel tanks. The site will grow from 30,000 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet, Pocost said.
The company will add one sheet extrusion line in Donchery by the fall and eventually will install a second, Pocost said. The first line could bring as much as 20 million pounds of new capacity to the plant. He would not disclose the cost of the project.
The expansion is the first for Spartech in France, although the company plans more global expansion in the next several years, Pocost said.
``There are opportunities to expand the business next year, both in [North America] and globally as well,'' Pocost said. ``We'd like to have more facilities in Asia and Europe, which represent fairly new markets for us.''
Spartech recorded $628.6 million in sales for its Custom Sheet & Rollstock unit in 2003, an increase of more than 4 percent from the previous year. The company ranked 11th in Plastics News' film and sheet survey, with $607.9 in relevant North American sales in 2002.