East is meeting West in the recent deal involving plastics shape distributors Piedmont Plastics Inc. and Regal Plastic Supply Co. Inc.
Regal of Littleton, Colo., and Charlotte, N.C.-based Piedmont now will do business as Regal Piedmont Plastics LLC in 11 western states, Mexico and western Canada.
Piedmont, on its own, will continue to cover the eastern United States and Canada. The deal was completed Jan. 20.
Regal Piedmont will be a 50-50 joint venture between Regal owner Edward Statter and Piedmont, which is owned by Hank Booth and Chip Whitfield. Combined, Piedmont and Regal Piedmont will employ 500 and will have annual sales of about $200 million. The two firms will operate from 30 branch locations, each with warehousing space ranging from 10,000-70,000 feet.
Piedmont's No. 3 ranking in the North America plastic shapes distribution market will be unchanged by the addition of the joint venture. The firms trail GE Polymershapes of Huntersville, N.C., and Laird Plastics of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Whitfield, who is Piedmont's vice president, will serve as president of Regal Piedmont. Regal Chief Executive Officer Al Stoltz now is CEO of Regal Piedmont. Regal Chairman Edward Statter will retire after 47 years with the firm, which he founded in 1956. Statter will be a member of Regal Piedmont's board.
Regal Piedmont will distribute plastic rods, sheet and tubing for suppliers such as GE Advanced Materials, Arkema Corp., Lucite International, Cyro Corp. and Sheffield Plastics.
Piedmont, formed in 1968, has focused its business on the East Coast, while Regal's sales have predominantly been in the western United States.
``Basically, what attracted us was [Regal's] geographic footprint and their branches,'' Whitfield said in a recent phone interview. ``When you go in and greenfield, you're adding another player. This is a way for us to grow without adding another player.''
Piedmont posted sales growth of 10 percent in 2004 and of 16 percent in the first quarter of 2005.