Janesco Inc., a longtime metal machining company, has put its diversification plan into action by purchasing a nearby injection molder.
In a deal that closed April 1, the Oshkosh, Wis., company purchased Derby Plastics Ltd., a custom molder located nine miles away in Neenah, Wis.
The acquisition is Janesco's first thrust into injection molding, an area in which it would like to expand, Janesco President Jim Janes said in an April 21 telephone interview.
``Now, we have two totally different markets, in metal and plastics,'' Janes said. ``We hope that when one is soft, the other is [strong].
``They counterbalance each other; at least that's the theory behind it.''
The sale, terms of which were not disclosed, had been discussed between the firms for about a year. Janesco's board of directors, including many of Janes' family members, had recommended a diversification strategy that would put the company at less risk of a slowdown, he said.
Albeit small, Derby is a strong company, Janes said. According to Plastics News rankings, Derby recorded about $2.45 million in sales last year. The company has about 24 employees and operates from a 15,000-square-foot plant in Neenah.
Most of those employees will be retained, Janes said.
Founder Tom Derby had decided to retire and did not have family members who wanted to take over the company, Janes said.
Derby was founded in 1987 and molds for a variety of markets. Its products include 2- and 5-gallon pails for liquid food products, printing inserts and parts used in the hunting and outdoor markets.
The company has 10 presses, the largest with a clamping force of 700 tons, he said. Derby will be a free-standing unit of Janesco.
Janesco's other unit is Oshkosh Marine Supply Co., which does metal machining and powder coating.
About the only tie between the two units is that Oshkosh powder-coats bearings with nylon. But Janes said he plans to pass on some of Oshkosh's automation and productivity knowledge to Derby.
Janes and his wife, Cindy, bought Oshkosh Marine in 1986. Oshkosh was founded in 1920 as a maker of lamps for coal mines, a business that soon disappeared with the advent of electrical power, Janes said.
The company now serves about 48 customers for metal machining and works on such products as off-road truck axles and expandable police batons.
With the purchase, Janesco will have close to 60 employees.