The owners of Hancor Inc., a major maker of corrugated drainage pipe, are trying to sell the company, industry sources said.
Rumors often float around the secretive plastic pipe sector. But this is more than a rumor, sources said. ``This is a very active, current effort to sell the company,'' one said. ``I would be very surprised if the company doesn't end up being sold.''
Based in Findlay, Ohio, Hancor is the second-largest extruder of high density polyethylene pipe, behind another Ohio company, Advanced Drainage Systems Inc.
The sources said that, earlier this year, Hancor informed its employees that the company was being actively marketed to prospective buyers. The sources spoke on the condition they would not be identified.
If Hancor does end up changing hands, it would mark only the second ownership change since Hancor - originally Hancock Brick & Tile Co. - since the company was founded in Findlay by the Child family back in the 1800s. The firm originally made clay drain pipe. In the late 1960s, it made the total conversion to plastic.
In 1986, the Child family sold Hancor to a management team led by then-president Fred Kremer Jr. and backed by Citigroup Venture Capital of New York. Kremer died in a plane crash in 1997. His family continues to own a share of the company.
Hancor's current president, Steven Anderson, did not return telephone calls. A spokeswoman did not confirm that employees had been told about a plan to sell the company. She added that since Hancor has a financial owner, it would always entertain offers from potential buyers.
One industry source said there have been two rounds of bidding. Information went out to prospective buyers in late 2004, he said.
Hancor and archrival Advanced Drainage are very tight-lipped about financial information, refusing to give sales numbers. However, Plastics News' ranking of pipe, profile and tubing extruders estimated Hancor's 2003 sales at $279 million. The company has 14 pipe factories. ADS is much larger, with estimated sales of $431 million for 2003.