Westlake restarts production at idle site
HOUSTON - Westlake Chemical Corp. will begin its restart of PVC and vinyl chloride monomer production in Geismar, La., in 2005.
Houston-based Westlake acquired the Geismar plant from now-defunct Borden Chemicals and Plastics LP in late 2002. The plant had been idled for at least a year at the time the deal was made. Westlake restarted ethylene dichloride production there in November 2003.
The site has annual capacities of 600 million pounds each for PVC and VCM. Westlake officials said the new PVC capacity will be used to meet merchant demand as well as supply resin for the three PVC pipe plants it recently acquired from Bristolpipe Corp. Westlake also announced plans to increase EDC capacity in Geismar by 25 percent.
In the first half of 2004, PVC sales in the United States and Canada were up almost 9 percent vs. 2003, according to the American Plastics Council in Arlington, Va. The increase was fueled by big gains in the pipe and tubing and siding markets.
STL sues for alleged breach of contract
ST. LOUIS - Private equity firm STL Capital Partners of St. Louis is seeking $6 million in damages from a company that sold it an injection molding business.
STL bought Engineered Specialty Plastics Inc. in April 2003 from defense contractor Engineered Support Systems Inc. of St. Louis. Engineered Support revealed in a quarterly report filed Sept. 14 that STL now alleges that Engineered Support breached certain representations of its purchase agreement. An official at Engineered Support declined to comment. STL did not return telephone calls.
Engineered Support stated it believes STL's claim is without merit. The claim is subject to binding arbitration, which Engineered Support expects will be done by April 30. The company further stated that any damages that might be awarded would not have any material effect on the company.
STL bought Engineered Specialty Plastics for $4.1 million in cash, a $3.3 million two-year note and consideration based on Engineered Specialty's future sales. Engineered Specialty's sales dropped 30 percent in 2002 to $17.6 million. Engineered Support took a $4.2 million charge for the sale as a discontinued operation for the year ended Oct. 31, 2004.
Acquisition gives Silgan capacity boost
STAMFORD, CONN. - Silgan Holdings Inc. of Stamford is boosting its plastic tube manufacturing capacity for personal-care products by 30 percent with the acquisition of some assets from Amcor Plastube Inc. of Breinigsville, Pa.
According to a Silgan news release, the $7.7 million purchase of plastic tube manufacturing assets includes $2.2 million for net working capital, which is primarily inventory. Silgan said the purchase would have no effect on its plans to reduce its debt by at least $75 million in 2004.
Silgan reported that the purchase will complement a January 2003 acquisition of Thatcher Tubes, a Woodstock, Ill., company that makes decorated plastic tubes for personal-care use.
Silgan Holdings, which has 61 manufacturing sites in the United States and Canada, reported 2003 sales of $2.3 billion.
Davis spending $6.2 million for Ore. plant
HILLSBORO, ORE. - Custom manufacturer Davis Tool Inc. is spending $6.2 million to buy a new facility in Hillsboro, in a move that will consolidate its operations and downsize its plastic molding capability.
The company, which manufactures metal and plastic parts for the aerospace, medical and technology industries, is combining several factories from Hillsboro and a nearby town into the 210,000-square-foot facility, which used to be a Seiko Epson Corp. plant. The move will cut costs and reduce the inefficiencies that come from being scattered across several sites, said Chief Executive Officer Ron Davis.
Davis said the firm has six injection presses but will be making unspecified reductions in molding because there is less plastic work in the Northwest than there used to be, he said. Plastic molding is not one of the firm's core businesses, and Davis Tool does it only to support its contract manufacturing business, he said.
Overall, the company's business grew in the first half of the year and the company added about 45 people, giving it 170 employees, Davis said.