Plumbing products firm Viega Inc. has acquired cross-linked polyethylene pipe maker Vanguard Piping Systems Inc. of McPherson, Kan., and its injection molding subsidiary Midtec Inc.
The transaction, announced Sept. 28, gives Viega its first extrusion and injection molding capacity in North America. The deal is scheduled to close by mid-October.
Officials would not disclose the sale price. Viega Inc. is the North American unit of Viega GmbH & Co. KG of Attendorn, Germany, a family-owned firm that has been in business for more than 100 years.
``This will allow Viega to accelerate our growth strategy in the U.S. market,'' said Dan Schmierer, president of Viega Inc., who will become chairman and chief executive officer of Vanguard and Midtec. ``Vanguard and Midtec will clearly be an integral part to the success of Viega.''
Viega Inc. is the holding company for Viega in North America, based in Bedford, Mass. Now, with Vanguard and Midtec, the company employs roughly 450.
Management and operations will stay intact, Schmierer said by telephone Sept. 29. Vanguard and Midtec each operates manufacturing facilities in McPherson, plus warehousing and offices in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Still, it's a significant changing of the guard for Vanguard and Midtec, each started by the Swinehart family in McPherson. Keith Swinehart I founded Vanguard in 1977, focused on polybutylene pipe.
Under the Swinehart family, the firm successfully maneuvered itself through the polybutylene mess in the 1990s, eventually converting its operations to PEX manufacturing.
W. Keith Swinehart II, who started selling pipe with his father in the late 1970s, will retire as Vanguard's chief executive officer.
``One family is selling it to another family,'' Vanguard President and Chief Operating Officer John Fraser said in a Sept. 29 telephone interview. ``The Swinehart legacy is a legacy that can't be forgotten. It's an important part of our heritage.
``We believe the acquisition of Vanguard/Midtec by Viega creates significant growth opportunities for our products and employees,'' Fraser said.