Envision Inc., a nonprofit agency that provides jobs to those with vision disabilities, has purchased Summit Plastics Inc., a polyethylene film producer based in Summit, Miss.
The move is the first into the plastics market for Wichita, Kan.-based Envision, which was founded in 1931 as Wichita Workshop and Training School for the Adult Blind. Envision employs people with sight disabilities at facilities that make more than 90 products, including specialty can liners and other plastics products.
The agency also operates retail stores at 15 military bases. About one-third of Envision's employees make products that are sold primarily to the U.S. government.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal. Summit President and co-owner David Huseman said Summit posted sales of about $13 million last year, making polyethylene film for industrial use and for other markets.
In an Aug. 3 e-mail, Envision Chief Financial Officer Kent Wilson said the acquisition ``evolved primarily as an investment opportunity'' for Envision's foundation.
``Summit will continue as a separate business. There is no plan to change the direction that had been set under previous ownership,'' he said.
Wilson added that Envision and Summit ``are engaged in separate segments of the industry, and do not compete with each other either by customer base or product line.''
Envision contacted Huseman about a year ago, inquiring about the availability of the business, according to Huseman. While negotiations were ongoing, Summit completed a 25,000-square-foot expansion, including new blown film lines that doubled capacity at the site.
Summit now employs 35 in a 60,000-square-foot space spread out between two buildings. Huseman, who along with several partners bought the business out of bankruptcy in 1994, had not been shopping Summit around, but agreed to the sale after meeting with Envision officials.
``The Envision people are really good people,'' Huseman said in a recent phone interview. ``I wanted to make sure they would continue to treat [our employees] the way that we had treated them.''
Huseman and his partners ran Summit as part of PIZ Industries, a Nashville, Tenn.-based firm that bills itself as the largest supplier of grocery deli bags in the U.S. PIZ makes reclosable deli bags at a Nashville plant and also operates RD Plastics Co. Inc., a Nashville-based business that makes bags for the health-care and industrial markets.