British Vita spurns second takeover bid
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - British Vita plc firmly rejected a $1.17 billion takeover bid from U.S. private equity firm Texas Pacific Group.
David Cotterill, chairman of the Manchester-based sheet, foam products and compounding firm, called the Feb. 3, £620 million ($1.17 billion) offer ``an opportunistic approach'' that failed to reflect the company's ``underlying value'' and prospects.
San Francisco-based TPG had no comment. TPG's offer, its second, came shortly after British Vita released a profit warning that blamed continuing resin price hikes for the company's delayed recovery. In response to TPG's initial offer, British Vita had said it would treat seriously any bid it deems fair.
TPG, which owns Burger King, specializes in technology and telecommunications investments, although in 2003 it bought Kraton Polymers LLC of Houston. TPG has committed investment capital of around $15 billion.
British Vita, which employs more than 8,000 in operations across 22 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, also has business in polyurethane systems and fibers.
Resin pricing chart notes corrections
AKRON, OHIO - Plastics News is correcting prices for polypropylene and some grades of recycled polyethylene on its resin pricing chart this week.
Prices of all grades of homopolymer and copolymer PP are being revised downward by 6 cents per pound. Recycled film grades of low, linear low and high-molecular-weight high density PE are being revised upward by 15-24 cents, depending on grade.
The changes do not reflect recent market activity and are being made to show additional price erosion, rebates and discounts that occurred from 2000-02.
USPL sells plant to Lees Development
CHICAGO - U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. has sold its Ocala, Fla., extrusion site to Lees Development Corp. for $3.25 million.
USPL officials said the auction and sale hearing took place Feb. 7 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The sale includes the 157,000-square-foot facility and certain equipment, USPL officials said.
Officials of Bunnell, Fla.-based Lees Development would not comment on plans for the facility.
In other USPL news, the firm has named Bruce Disbrow its new chief executive officer. Disbrow is a 25-year veteran of directory publisher R.H. Donnelley Corp., based in Cary, N.C. Disbrow most recently served as president and chief executive of Dontech, a joint venture between Donnelley and SBC Communications Inc., officials said.
``USPL's best days are ahead,'' Disbrow said in a news release. ``This will be a great turnaround story for our industry, and I am ready to get started.''
Disbrow will focus on Trimax structural lumber, high density polyethylene decking and railing marketed as CareFree Xteriors, truck scuff, and spa and sauna siding, officials said.
The company has not begun its search for a permanent chief financial officer, officials said. Steve Spitzer of Triax Capital Advisors in New York is interim CFO.
ATS founder dies; firm closing plant
CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. has named Ron Jutras president and chief executive officer.
ATS announced the appointment Feb. 8, a day after the death of ATS founder and President Klaus Woerner from cancer, at the age of 65. Woerner established ATS about 25 years ago.
Jutras was executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. He joined the Cambridge-based firm in 1985 as CFO. ATS also named Gerry Beard vice president and CFO. Beard was corporate finance director.
Separately, ATS said it will close its McAllen, Texas, plant. The site, part of ATS' Precision Components Group, will transfer production to ATS facilities in Cambridge by June. The firm estimates the closure will cost about C$1 million (US$810,000) but will lead to better capacity utilization and cut operating costs.
Precision Components Group makes parts for automotive and other markets from plastic and metal. The group reported an operating loss of C$1.9 million (US$1.5 million) in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31. Sales slipped 16 percent to C$29.1 million (US$23.5 million).