Expanding PVC windows company Latium Group is paying around £29 million ($55 million) to acquire United Kingdom PVC sunroom manufacturer Ultraframe plc.
Last year, privately owned Latium of Wilmslow, England - which already owned two leading U.K. window fabricators, Everest and Weatherseal - bought HW Plastics, the British plastic products division of Heywood Williams plc.
Ultraframe, whose North American interests include the former Canadian firm Royal Ultraframe Ltd. and U.S. sunroom maker Four Seasons Solar Products LLC, reported an £8.5 million ($16 million) pre-tax loss last year. That was in contrast to a £3.6 million ($6.6 million) profit in 2004. Annual sales were down 18.2 percent in 2005 at almost £97 million ($180 million).
Ultraframe blamed the poor results on U.S. litigation, as well as a market downturn and fierce competition in Britain. Based on its performance, the company appointed advisers to carry out a review of options including disposal of operations.
In the latest deal, the cash bid by Latium Holdings Ltd., a firm established for the Ultraframe takeover by owners Brian Kennedy and Stuart Lees, received unanimous backing from the board of Clitheroe, England-based Ultraframe.
"The board has undertaken a full strategic review and has concluded that as trading conditions remain difficult, shareholders and employees will be best served by shareholders accepting this offer," said Ultraframe Chairman Rod Sellers.
Latium expects to restructure Ultraframe following completion of its acquisition.
Latium acquired plants in Macclesfield and Scunthorpe, England, and a distribution center in Trentham, England, when it took over HW Plastics. HW's profile brands included Kestrel and Spectus, and prior to its takeover it employed around 600.
Latium Group, with about £400 million ($752 million) in annual sales, is a PVC profile extruder, window and door fabricator and installer.