SMS GmbH rocked the plastics world last week with two bang-bang announcements: It is selling the Battenfeld injection press business, and it has a new top executive for its plastics equipment business.
German private equity firm Adcuram Industriekapital AG is buying Battenfeld. This will be Adcuram's second plastics machinery holding; in 2004, it bought the Kautex blow molding equipment business.
On Oct. 12, the day before the sale of Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH was revealed, SMS announced it had hired a new top executive for its plastics equipment business - Pepyn Dinandt, who ran Mannesmann Plastics Machinery GmbH before new owners replaced him in July.
Dinandt becomes a member of the managing board of SMS, an industrial conglomerate based in Dusseldorf, Germany. He is responsible for the SMS Plastics Technology business unit. After the deal to sell the injection presses operations, the group will be focused on extrusion: American Maplan and Cincinnati-brand extruders, and Battenfeld Gloucester film equipment.
SMS is owned by its chairman, Heinrich Weiss, and his family. Besides plastics processing machinery, SMS businesses include equipment for steel mills and rolling mills and technology to make metal tubing.
In a news release, Weiss praised Dinandt as an experienced machinery executive. ``His responsibility will be to further develop the Plastics Technology business area within a limited time frame,'' Weiss said.
Company officials were not available immediately to provide more details. But in the past, Weiss and the former managing director of plastics machinery, Wilhelm SchrÃ¶der, made clear statements that the plastics business was underperforming.
The trouble, however, seemed to center on the Battenfeld injection press business. SMS tried to sell it in 1999, but the deal fell apart.
Munich, Germany-based Adcuram ``will push for increased international sales and promote growth through strategic partnerships and appropriate acquisitions,'' according to a news release announcing the Battenfeld deal. Adcuram also plans to invest in research and development.
Battenfeld employs 620 in the injection press business, which has annual sales of more than 100 million euros ($125 million), the news release said.
Thomas Probst, chief executive officer of Adcuram, said the Battenfeld business ``perfectly suits'' his firm's investment approach. ``We are looking forward to supporting the long-term advancement of Battenfeld as a force for innovation in the injection molding field,'' he said.
Meanwhile, for SMS Plastics Technology, the hiring of Dinandt fills the top post that has been vacant since Jan. 31, when Schrder left after just two years on the job.
Dinandt brings to SMS Plastics Technology five years of experience running MPM - the world's largest plastics equipment maker.
He was named CEO of MPM in late 2001, by then-MPM owner Siemens AG. He moved to the plastics machinery side from power, transmission and distribution. Before that, he worked at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.