Merritt will continue, with new name
HAMDEN, CONN. - Merritt Davis Corp. said it has resolved its financial problems and will continue operations as Merritt Extruder Corp.
Merritt announced April 7 that it will go forward, focusing on extrusion systems for reclaim, profiles, tubing, compounding and wire and cable. It mainly will build single-screw systems.
President Sandy Guthrie has become sole owner of the Hamden company, he said in a telephone interview. Previously he was one of nine owners, most of whom were silent investors.
While continuing with ``essentially the same staff,'' Merritt has eliminated the general manager position, and all department managers also are doing hands-on work, Guthrie said.
``Like many others in the industry, we've had the everyday struggles with our bankers, but happily those discussions are resolved and operations continue,'' Guthrie said.
Merritt ``has discharged its obligations to the banks,'' which no longer are involved in Merritt's finances, he added. Guthrie personally is financing the Merritt business.
Merritt changed its name to eliminate any potential confusion with Pawcatuck, Conn., extruder maker Davis-Standard Corp.
Lear to buy Germany's Grote & Hartmann
SOUTHFIELD, MICH. - Automotive supplier Lear Corp. will boost its capabilities in Europe with its planned purchase of GHW Grote & Hartmann GmbH, a German maker of electronic parts.
The $220 million deal, announced April 5, will bring Southfield-based Lear a company with 225 million euros ($275 million) in sales last year - three-quarters of it in Europe.
Grote & Hartman, based in Wuppertal, Germany, injection molds its own housings for connectors and produces terminals, junction boxes and wire harnesses for the automotive industry. It has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, Mexico, France and South Africa and employs 1,900 globally.
Lear, with $15.7 billion in sales for 2003, noted in its annual report filed March 15 that it wanted to improve financial results in Europe by focusing on electronics, seating and cockpits. It also indicated it would seek acquisitions to complement its European seating and electronics businesses and its Asian sales.
Analyst Martin King, with Standard & Poor's of New York, said the purchase will strengthen Lear's product line.
Primary Colors relocating to nearby site
WESTBOROUGH, MASS. - Primary Colors Inc. is investing $2.5 million to increase its efficiency with the construction of a 30,000-square-foot home in Grafton, Mass.
The color and additives concentrates company, founded in 1994, is moving from its leased, 40,000-square-foot facility in Westborough. The move will begin in mid-May and should be complete by the end of June, said Judy Mickelson, president and chief executive officer.
``Grafton is only six miles away, so we will be able to retain our workforce, which is huge for us,'' said Mickelson, noting that the company employs 22.
All production at the new site will be on one floor with a 22-foot-high ceiling. Primary Colors has been updating machinery in preparation for the move, and added a twin-screw extruder in July. Mickelson said Primary Colors has annual sales of $5 million and has been growing 5-7 percent a year.
Rotuba adds line as lighting work grows
PAWCATUCK, CONN. - Rotuba Extruders Inc. is considering further expansion after hiking production capacity 30 percent.
The Pawcatuck firm recently installed its 18th Davis-Standard extrusion line and may add another line or more as Rotuba grows in lighting and other markets. President Adam Bell said his company is gaining new business as more companies outsource their lighting component needs.
Rotuba claims to be the second-largest sheet and profile supplier to the lighting industry in North America. The lighting market accounts for about 40 percent of its annual sales of $35 million to $40 million, Bell said. Rotuba sells to U.S. original equipment manufacturers of fluorescent lighting, point-of-purpose displays and related products. It also extrudes tubing.
The firm also claims to be North America's biggest compounder of cellulose acetate, which it sells to molders of toys, hand tools, eyeglass frames and other products. The company employs more than 75 in its 100,000-square-foot plant and office.