Indian laminated tube producer Essel Propack Ltd. is expanding its U.S. presence by acquiring a majority stake in Tacpro Inc., a Campbell, Calif., tubing extruder and producer of medical devices.
Essel of Mumbai, India, also is buying most of the shares of Avalon Medical Services Pte. Ltd. of Singapore. Tacpro and Avalon share common ownership.
Tacpro focuses on design, engineering and rapid prototyping. Its high-volume manufacturing base is sister company Avalon.
Tacpro does custom extrusion in a range of thermoplastics, including polyolefins, nylons, polyurethanes, thermoplastic elastomers and polycarbonate. The firm can do simple and complex extrusions, including wire coating and profile production. Tacpro also produces medical balloons and catheters from nylons, PET and other materials. It braids metal wires for guides and other medical uses.
Essel claims to be the world's largest producer of laminated tubes, with 21 manufacturing locations in 13 countries. It is expanding its Danville, Va., plant to the tune of $15 million, a project that spokesman Ramdas Warrier said will not be affected by Essel's purchase of Tacpro. Essel's current markets include packaging for toothpaste, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and industry.
Ashok Goel, Essel vice chairman and managing director, called medical devices ``our new and third horizon, after laminated tubes and plastic tubes.''
``Our objective is to leverage our knowledge of polymers and polymer processing so as to add a new dimension to our business,'' Goel said in a March 29 news release.
Tacpro, Avalon and Essel share extensive plastics knowledge, experience in working with original equipment manufacturers, a global outlook and quality systems demanded for medical products, said Warrier.
``This is the first step toward realizing my vision of bringing India to the forefront of the medical device industry,'' said Tacpro Chief Executive Officer Nitin Matani.
Essel plans to have current management run the Tacpro and Avalon operations with no major changes, Warrier said in an e-mail. Essel expects to finalize the purchases by the end of April. It plans to pay $10.7 million for 85 percent of both companies, with an option to buy the rest in three years.
Essel estimates the global market for medical devices is about $172.6 billion a year, of which about 10 percent comprises contract manufacturing. The market in Asia is huge and mainly undeveloped, Essel said.