API Group sells off PP film businesses
Poynton, England - British specialty packaging company API Group plc sold the three polypropylene film, paper and film-coating and self-adhesive products businesses of its converted products division to a management team for £12.2 million ($23 million).
The businesses are PP film producer Filmcast Extrusions Ltd. of Nelson, England; API Tenza, a manufacturer of self-adhesive plastic and paper products of Saxmundham, England; and silicone-coated paper and film products manufacturer API Coated Products Ltd. of Cheltenham, England.
In the year to September 2004, the division saw its operating profit reduced from the 2003 figure of nearly £1 million ($1.6 million) to less than £200,000 ($366,000), on sales down 4.6 percent at £32.6 million ($60 million).
The operations, which employ 250, are being acquired by Tri-Q Group Ltd., led by Managing Director Nigel Trilk and director Martin Urquhart, and backed by GE Commercial Finance.
API of Poynton is disposing of the division to focus on its paperboard foil and laminating operations. Last year API sold two other subsidiaries in England: Learoyd Packaging Ltd. of Burnley and custom injection molder Morris Plastics Ltd. of Sowerby Bridge for a total of about £2.3 million ($4.2 million).
Filmcast, with one monolayer extrusion line plus a 3-year-old coextrusion line, last year introduced several higher-margin multilayer products, in particular for food packaging.
Prior to the takeover, the former management began to upgrade Filmcast's monolayer line to handle coextruded products. That operation, which employs 70, has annual sales of £5 million ($9.2 million).
The new owners did not return telephone calls.
Diaphorm relocates for expansion plans
SALEM, N.H. - Diaphorm Technologies LLC is boosting the size of its operations 50 percent with a move March 31 from Woburn, Mass., to a 15,000-square-foot facility in Salem.
``We are really excited about the space, power distribution and the high ceilings, which allow us to get projects in and out,'' said Robert Miller, president and chief executive officer.
The company develops technology to make structural parts from thermoplastic composites. It has customers in the military, sports and specialty automotive sectors. Miller said the new space will allow room to produce a propriety product for a customer.
He said all five employees will make the 25-mile move. Diaphorm plans to add at least three employees in sales, engineering and mechanical technology.
Miller said the new location has access to a low-cost airport in Manchester, N.H., and the area has a highly skilled workforce with students from Salem and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell not too far away.
Diaphorm formed in November after a management-led buyout of the Diaphorm Division of Solectria Corp. It had shared space with Solectria in Woburn.
Fusion Optix invests in LCD development
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Fusion Optix Inc. has raised $1.1 million in funding to help it develop and supply specialty films and related technologies for liquid crystal displays and similar systems.
The Cambridge-based firm said its films and components can significantly increase the visual performance of back-lit panel displays. Early versions of Fusion's products promise higher brightness and richer resolution in the displays, according to the company. Less-expensive, thinner displays with more color contrast are possible, Fusion said.
Fusion acquired 11 patents from imaging specialist Nashua Corp. of Nashua, N.H., and has developed new technologies for which patents are pending. It estimates markets for its kind of film technologies in LCD displays and projection will reach $1.6 billion this year.
Private equity investors from Boston and Philadelphia provided the recent influx of funds to Fusion, which was founded last year.
Envirokare acquiring TPF part technology
ORLANDO, FLA. - Thermoplastic Composite Design Inc. is being acquired by Envirokare Composites Corp. for $15 million, payable over seven years to TCD shareholders.
Envirokare Composites is a subsidiary of Envirokare Tech Inc. of Orlando. TCD of Mims, Fla., and Envirokare Tech have collaborated for four years under a licensing agreement for TCD's Thermoplastic Flowforming technology, which involves low-pressure compression molding for big parts.
Envirokare said it plans to upgrade the Mims facility through investments in equipment and space. TPF inventor Dale Polk Jr. continues as a consultant.
Meantime, a joint venture between Envirokare and Nova Chemicals Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, will commercialize the TPF technology. The venture, LRM Industries LLC, initially will be based in Mims.