K-Tron International Inc., a Pitman maker of resin feeders, blenders and conveyors, has purchased Premier Pneumatics Inc., which makes feeders and vacuum receivers for unloading resin pellets and powder from rail cars and trucks.
Premier Pneumatics of Salina, Kan., also makes systems to move materials from storage to production lines. Its equipment is used in plastics, compounding, chemical and food industries.
K-Tron paid $27.5 million in cash for Premier Pneumatics, in a deal announced Oct. 5. K-Tron, which is traded on Nasdaq, bought Premier from President Robert Korbelik, who is retiring.
Premier generated sales of about $25.8 million for the 12-month period ended Aug. 31, according to K-Tron. K-Tron reported 2005 sales of $118.9 million.
Premier Pneumatics is known for its Aerolock rotary valve, Series II 2400 vacuum receiver, blower package and diverter-valve product lines. With a large installed base of equipment, the company has lots of repeat business, K-Tron said.
K-Tron broke into pneumatic conveying when it bought Hurricane Pneumatic Conveying Inc. in 1997, then followed by purchasing Colormax Ltd. and Pneumatic Conveying Systems Ltd.
``The acquisition significantly expands K-Tron's activities in pneumatic conveying and solids feeding, said Edward Cloues, K-Tron's chairman and chief executive officer, in a news release.
K-Tron wants to expand Premier's products beyond the North American market, he said.
K-Tron said the money to buy Premier came from a $50 million revolving line of credit from Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. K-Tron also borrowed $9.7 million against the line of credit to repay all of its other bank debt, except for a balance of $1.6 million on a mortgage note.