A Seattle-based company is close to buying SciTech Plastics Group LLC, and the new owner plans to close some of the SciTech plants shortly after the sale.
Vaupell Inc. will be the new name for a Seattle-based combination of Vaupell Industrial Plastics Inc. and the seven operating units of SciTech Plastics Group.
A division of H.I.G. Capital LLC owns Vaupell Industrial Plastics, and it anticipates purchasing the SciTech units in the completion of a bankruptcy sale by the end of April.
Joseph Jahn will head Vaupell Inc. as president and chief executive officer. Currently, he holds those titles at Vaupell Industrial Plastics in Seattle.
Jahn projected 2004 sales for the two companies of about $55 million. The operations employ 560.
Jahn said Mark Evans will serve as chief operating officer from a yet-to-be-selected site in New England. Evans has been SciTech's COO.
``In the first 12 months, we plan to consolidate several of the operations in Massachusetts,'' Jahn said. Existing Massachusetts operations are located in West Brookfield, Marlborough and two in West Hatfield. Other SciTech operations are in Constantine, Mich.; Sanger, Texas; and Hudson, N.H.
SciTech had 2003 sales of about $43 million, mostly in medical products. The company has 400 employees.
Vaupell was founded in 1946, molded the first interior plastic parts for Boeing Co. in 1947 and employs 160 now.
With H.I.G.'s support, Vaupell ``has been looking for strategic acquisitions to grow the business and leverage our expertise and capabilities,'' Jahn said. ``Medical was identified as having many of the same characteristics for which we have excelled in supporting the aerospace market.'' Vaupell intends to pursue strategic goals including national coverage for midlevel aerospace and medical customers.
SciTech Plastics was formed in mid-1998 in Kansas City, Mo., and added operations through a series of acquisitions.
SciTech ``had issues back to August 2001'' from over-leveraging and the economic downturn, Jahn said, but the operations kept on-time deliveries through the financial distress and remain ``a tremendous platform to grow and build on.''
H.I.G. Recovery, a unit of private equity investor H.I.G. Capital of Miami, acquired the secured debt of SciTech Plastics from banking units of Comerica Inc. of Detroit and KeyCorp of Cleveland on Dec. 31.
With intentions to obtain operating control, H.I.G. agreed Jan. 26 to purchase the assets of the SciTech operating companies. The seven businesses filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Jan. 28.
H.I.G. was the only bidder at a March 29 auction that was mandated by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Worcester, Mass.