Solvay Engineered Polymers Inc. is buying Thermoplastic Rubber Systems Inc., a thermoplastic vulcanizate maker in Shirley, Mass.
No purchase price was disclosed. Auburn Hills, Mich.-based SEP had held a purchase option on TRS since mid-2002, when the firms entered a distribution agreement.
TRS operates three extrusion lines at a 20,000-square-foot site in Shirley, where it employs 16. By midyear, the firm plans to move into a new, 60,000-square-foot building in the same city. TRS posted sales of $6 million in 2003 after reaching the $4 million mark in 2002.
TRS was founded in 2000 by Jonas Angus and Paul Brunelle, both of whom will remain with the business. Angus will serve as general manager of the unit, while Brunelle will be site manager.
``Our day-to-day operation won't change,'' Angus said.
``Solvay has a very strong chemical background, and by combining with their [thermoplastic olefin] line, we can sell a complete portfolio to our customers, especially in automotive,'' Angus said by telephone Feb. 10.
The TRS line of TPVs competes with thermoset rubber in the automotive weather-seal market. Last year, TRS also gained approval for its TPVs in beverage, pharmaceutical and food containers.
The acquisition also opens the possibility of TRS materials being produced at SEP's compounding site in Grand Prairie, Texas, according to Angus.
The deal is the latest step in a TPV career that has lasted more than two decades for Angus. He first worked with the material at Polysar Rubber Corp. in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1982 and later worked for Hoechst Celanese Corp., J-Von NA and DSM Engineering Plastics Inc., which acquired Polysar in 1991.
SEP is part of Solvay Group, a chemical company based in Brussels, Belgium.