Less than a year after exiting bankruptcy, Moll Industries Inc. has acquired Creative Plastic Molders Inc. of Lexington, N.C.
Dallas-based Moll paid between $1.2 million and $1.5 million for CPM, which employs 110 and operates about 20 injection presses in a 110,000-square-foot plant, according to Moll President Ron Embree.
Moll now plans on consolidating appliance and consumer product molding done at its nearby site in Seagrove, N.C., to the Lexington plant, Embree said by phone May 28. The Seagrove plant will focus on medical production and assembly.
``Focusing our production in individual sites creates a greater comfort level for our medical customers,'' Embree said.
After the acquisition, which was announced May 28, Moll gradually will reduce the size of CPM's workforce from 110 to 75 in order to improve efficiency at the site, he added.
Moll grew aggressively in the 1990s and at one time was a global molder with sales of more than $400 million. When the economy soured, the firm ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2002. Moll now is controlled by investment firm Highland Capital Management LP of Dallas, which had been Moll's chief lender. Moll exited bankruptcy in June 2003.
A slimmed-down Moll now operates four plants in the United States and a single plant in Brazil. Combined, those plants operate 220 injection presses. Embree said that sales in 2004 are on track to finish 5-10 percent ahead of their 2003 levels.
And Moll still might be on the acquisition trail. Embree said the firm ``is in a position to do other deals that make strategic sense.''
Moll ranked 52nd among North American injection molders with annual sales of $124 million, according to a recent Plastics News ranking. About half of Moll's sales are into the large appliance market, mainly with Whirlpool Corp.