Nypro Inc. has bought out the joint venture partner in its automotive molding unit, known as DJ/Nypro, for undisclosed terms.
Clinton, Mass.-based Nypro said Nov. 8 it acquired the 50 percent of the business still owned by the family of DJ Inc. founder Theos Raymond Pelle, who died in 2003. Nypro bought half of DJ and its three plants in Kentucky and Texas in 1997.
Nypro spokesman Al Cotton said the company wanted more control of the operations, as it seeks to realign some of its 66 locations around the world to focus on specific markets. The three former DJ plants will target both automotive and consumer markets, he said.
``We are in certain markets developing the focus plant concept,'' Cotton said. ``Packaging is one area; all of our packaging is done in plants designed specifically for that purpose.''
The former DJ factories, in Louisville and Hazard, Ky., and in El Paso, Texas, are geographically suited to serving the traditional automotive manufacturers in Michigan and other Northern states, and the growing automotive base in the South, Nypro said.
The DJ acquisition was Nypro's first major foray into automotive, which remains a relatively small market for the company.
Nypro had $67 million in automotive-related sales in the fiscal year ended June 30, or about 7 percent of its $957 million in worldwide sales. The company reported $72 million in automotive-related sales in 2004.
Nypro recently consolidated other automotive work in the old DJ operations, when it closed a small auto parts plant in Longmont, Colo., last year and shifted the work to Kentucky. Cotton said the company anticipates growth at the three plants, and is bringing the more than 400 workers at the factories into its employee stock ownership plan.
Cotton said Nypro has focused the DJ operations on smaller injection presses, more precision molding in automotive, and more robotics and automation. The facilities are also near existing Nypro consumer product customers, the company said.
The three factories have 170 molding machines, down from 210 when Nypro made its investment in 1997. At the time, DJ said it had $82 million in sales and 1,000 employees.
``They had been more traditional automotive plastics,'' Cotton said.
``The business has changed significantly in eight years, and it's on the track we want it on now.''