Myers Industries Inc. buys businesses on a fairly regular basis and is always on the lookout to add another company, if it's a good match.
Of late, its acquisition focus has been on its plastics sector, and it is likely to remain an active buyer in the materials-handling, lawn and garden, and distribution sectors during the next year or so, said President and Chief Executive Officer John Orr.
In that vein, the firm most recently purchased TML Horticultural Products Inc. of Brantford, Ontario, for $110.1 million to boost its share of the lawn and garden market.
There are other potential deals the firm is considering, but Orr declined to elaborate.
The company, which employs about 5,000 globally, isn't ignoring its automotive and custom group, which handles most of its rubber product units, including Buckhorn Rubber, Michigan Rubber Products and Patch Rubber Products. The group generates about 22 percent of the company's annual sales, which were about $904 million in 2005.
``Right now we're doing some synergy activity between Michigan Rubber [purchased with Wek Industries in 2004] and Buckhorn Rubber [acquired in 1987], which makes both stronger,'' Orr said.
The firm wants to take advantage of the strengths of the two manufacturers, he said. For instance, Buckhorn Rubber didn't have the ability to extrude products, but Michigan Rubber does, which helps Buckhorn with truck customers.
The two businesses are looking more toward the industrial, Class A truck industry, where Buckhorn always has been strong, rather than the top North American auto companies, where Michigan has been a bigger player, he said. ``Not that we're running away from those folks, but we know where the opportunities are, and we have made some nice inroads.''
As far as acquisitions on the rubber side, Orr admitted there are opportunities out there and ``we're always open to take a look.''
In addition, Wek Industries - a producer of plastic blow molded components for the automotive market, along with goods for the motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle industries - virtually is a sole supplier to Honda, and Orr believes there are numerous additional opportunities for its rubber businesses in the automotive market.
``That's one of the strengths of Myers - all these companies that become sister companies,'' the executive said. ``Whether it's injection molding, rubber extrusion or rubber molding, there's a lot of opportunity that we can see on a day-to-day basis where business can go back and forth between our companies.'' That can include plastic products with customers that normally contract for rubber goods, and vice versa.