Carlyle Group has sights on GE Plastics
WASHINGTON - Last year, it was time for Carlyle Group to make the donuts. This year, it might be time for the Washington-based private equity firm to make Lexan.
The firm is interested in Pittsfield, Mass.-based GE Plastics, Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein said during a Jan. 11 interview on the CNBC television network.
``GE Plastics is a great company and we certainly would be interested in it if we could have a chance to buy it,'' Rubenstein said. Carlyle officials declined to elaborate.
In March, Carlyle and two other firms paid more than $2 billion in cash for Dunkin' Brands Inc. - the Canton, Mass.-based firm that operates the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchises. Carlyle's last major venture into the plastics market was Key Plastics LLC, an auto parts maker it bought in 2001 and later sold to one of its own executives, Ed Ewing, who still runs the Novi, Mich.-based business.
Officials with GE Plastics parent General Electric Co. of Fairfield, Conn., confirmed a potential sale of the plastic unit in a Jan. 19 news release. A source with knowledge of the proceedings said New York financial firm Goldman Sachs Inc. has contacted six potential buyers. Four of the six were private equity firms, including Carlyle and New York-based Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Apollo Management LP.
The other two buyers were strategic buyers, but were not identified. Sources said those two firms are Bayer AG of Leverkusen, Germany, and Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich.
Workers strike at Perlos plants in Finland
VANTAA, FINDLAND - The entire workforce at two Finnish mobile phone component plants run by Perlos Corp. walked out on strike in protest of plans to cut 4,000 more jobs worldwide and likely halt all Perlos manufacturing in Finland.
Production stopped Jan. 16 when more than 1,200 workers at injection molding plants in Joensuu and Lehmonharju, Finland, downed tools in a three-day stoppage.
The workforce was responding to the latest restructuring plan unveiled by Vantaa-based Perlos a day earlier. The plan, led by newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer Matti Virtanen, aims to boost efficiency and cut expenditures by more than 100 million euros ($129.5 million) this year. The plan will cover all Perlos operations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
In Finland, Perlos already has closed two plants and cut 573 jobs. One option under consideration is to close the remaining plants in Finland, which the company said would save as much as 40 million euros ($51.8 million) annually.
MPC adds 2,200-ton Demag Caliber press
WALWORTH, WIS. - Custom injection molder Miniature Precision Components Inc. has extended its press size range with a 2,200-ton Demag Caliber press.
MPC has begun running the new press at its Walworth plant, also the site of its headquarters. The press is number 108 for MPC, which previously boasted a 1,430-tonner as its biggest injection molding machine. Officials did not disclose the cost of the new machine and its installation.
The firm said the Demag press will allow it to produce bigger parts for new customers and industries, but it did not disclose target markets. The company is heavily involved in automotive molding and logged sales of $179 million in 2005. It claims to have averaged double-digit growth for more than 10 years.
C.R. Mold assets going up for auction
OLDCASTLE, ONTARIO - Assets of injection mold maker C.R. Mold Ltd. will be auctioned Jan. 23 at the firm's Oldcastle site.
C.R. Mold was ordered into bankruptcy Nov. 15 and has been shut down since Dec. 1. It listed its liabilities at about C$1.5 million (US$1.3 million) and assets at about C$1.1 million (US$937,000). Major machinery for sale includes Fadal machining centers, Mitsubishi and other models of electric discharge machines, grinders and mills. Maynard Industries Ltd. of Toronto will conduct the auction. Jackson Carson Inc. of London, Ontario, is trustee in the bankruptcy.
Major secured creditors are Bank of Montreal, also in London; CIT Financial Ltd. of Burlington, Ontario; Indcom Leasing Inc. of Windsor, Ontario; and C.R. Mold President Jeffrey Prieur. Prieur could not be reached for comment.