Nypro Inc. has bought a larger stake in a Mexican plant it jointly owns with minority supplier Sealaska Corp., and said it may sell stakes in other factories to the Native Alaskan-owned Sealaska, as a way to boost diversity in supplier contracts.
Nypro and Sealaska said in a Feb. 3 announcement that Nypro is buying an additional 29 percent stake in their joint venture plant in Guadalajara, giving it 49 percent ownership of the factory, known as TriQuest Guadalajara. Nypro, based in Clinton, Mass., had acquired 20 percent of that facility in 2002.
Terms were not disclosed.
Nypro spokesman Al Cotton said the firm is seeing increased interest in diversity contracts from manufacturers, both those that want to do business with the federal government and those that want to appeal to a more diverse marketplace. In particular, Nypro is seeing interest from consumer product companies, he said.
``We see the promise,'' said Cotton. ``This puts us deeper and deeper into diversity supply.''
Nypro is seriously considering selling stakes in other factories it has to Sealaska, he said: ``There are a couple of very strong opportunities we're looking at.''
Nypro bought a larger share of the Guadalajara plant because it wanted more control, and because the company feels that joint ventures work better when both partners have equal or nearly equal stakes, Cotton said.
The Guadalajara plant has 60 injection molding machines, two painting booths, a Class 100,000 clean room and more than 600 employees in the 160,000 square feet.
Sealaska, based in Juneau, Alaska, and Nypro have another joint venture plant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Nypro sold 51 percent of the operation to Sealaska in 2004. However, Nypro runs both joint venture plants, Cotton said. Sealaska previously owned other plastics operations but, after encountering financial trouble, sold off most of those assets in recent years.
Nypro has 66 plants in 18 countries.
A 1971 federal law affords one advantage to Native Alaskan-owned companies like Sealaska. Unlike other minority suppliers, it can manufacture outside the United States and still retain its minority supplier status, the firms said.
Sealaska, with 17,500 Alaskan native shareholders, is the largest native-owned corporation in Alaska.