Architectural building products extruder InPro Corp. has diversified into polymer-based simulated stone bathware products by acquiring Lippert Corp.
InPro of Muskego, Wis., plans to keep Lippert's Menomonee Falls, Wis., plant open with no reduction in its staff of 50, said InPro spokesman Evan Bane. InPro did not disclose terms of the deal, announced Jan. 3.
``It's a new product but a good fit,'' Bane said in a telephone interview. The Lippert product line best fits InPro's IPC door and wall protection systems unit, one of InPro's four divisions. IPC stands for interactive power control.
``Lippert's brand identity, along with InPro's market position, will accelerate our growth,'' said InPro President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ziegler in a news release.
InPro will extend Lippert's marketing into hospitals and other new areas, while Lippert will boost InPro's presence in kitchen and bath markets, said Lippert's former owner, Dan Lippert. He said he will remain with the business under InPro ownership.
``There will be faster expansion than if we were on our own,'' he said in a telephone interview.
Lippert had estimated sales of $5.6 million last year. It makes cast polymer bathroom fixtures and Prism-brand solid-surface bathware from a mixture of unsaturated polyester and ground stone.
InPro, owned by Ziegler, booked more than $56 million in sales in 2006, about 19 percent higher than a year earlier, according to Bane. InPro employs about 375, including the Lippert staff.
The company extrudes PVC to make interior and exterior products such as wall guards, handrails and sheet for health care, hospitality, education, government, marine and retail construction. It also extrudes handrails, wall guards and corner guards from composites made of wood and recycled high density polyethylene under its EnviroGT line. The firm runs a design center in which licensed interior designers assist customers in choosing the right InPro product for a building's environment.
InPro operates a vinyl recycling program that gives credits toward new purchases when customers return old vinyl products.
The company undertook a major expansion in 2005 that doubled its space and increased extrusion capacity.