Thermoset compound leader Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. has purchased top competitor Rodgers Engineering Corp. of Addison, Ill.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, which includes bulk molding and sheet molding compound plants in Elburn, Ill., and El Paso, Texas, and an injection molding plant in Addison.
West Chicago, Ill.-based BMCI will close the Elburn site and is considering options for the Addison plant, including a possible sale, officials said.
Production from Elburn will transfer to BMCI plants in West Chicago; Perrysburg, Ohio; and Juarez, Mexico. Most of Rodgers' 75 employees in Elburn will transfer to West Chicago.
Rodgers had employed about 230 overall and posted sales of $40 million last year.
Rodgers was founded by the Rodgers family in the early 1970s as an injection molder of electrical applications such as breakers and housings. In the early 1980s, Rodgers established BMCI as a joint venture with mixer salesman Jim Cabak as a means to supply material to the Addison plant.
Cabak then bought out Rodgers' share of BMCI in the mid-1980s and sold the entire firm to current BMCI owner Larry Nunnery in 1989. In the meantime, Rodgers had re-entered the compounding field, first to supply its own operations, then as a commercial supplier in the mid-1990s.
Fran Zappitelli, BMCI's executive vice president of technology, has been with the firm through the entire process, starting with the Rodgers and Cabak joint venture, the Cabak ownership and for the last 16 years with Nunnery.
By acquiring Rodgers, BMCI ``is taking on a competitor that was built on price, while we've done more on the market-development side,'' Nunnery said in a May 11 phone interview. ``This really reinforces our position around the world and helps us on the raw material side.''
The addition of Rodgers - plus strong organic growth - will boost BMCI's 2005 sales close to $150 million, Nunnery added. Rodgers President Frank Rodgers expects to remain with BMCI in a consulting role.
The buy is the fourth deal since 2002 for BMCI. Earlier this year, the firm established a 50-50 joint venture with Emei Group of Hong Kong to make thermoset molding compounds at a plant in Dongguan, China. In 2002, BMCI bought a majority stake in Tetradur GmbH of Seevetal, Germany; while in 2002, the firm purchased a portion of Cleveland-based Glastic Corp.
In the last year, BMCI also has added production sites in Rio Claro, Brazil, and Juarez to support its growing international business. The 30,000-square-foot Juarez plant employs 15, while the Rio Claro operation covers 20,000 square feet and employs seven. The Juarez plant was needed in particular because BMCI is close to maxing out space at its Mexico City plant.
BMCI employs 300 and generates about half of its sales from the automotive market. The firm is a leading supplier of thermoset compounds used in engine covers and headlamp housings.