Aalberts buys Lasco to expand in U.S.
Langbroek, Netherlands - Langbroek-based Aalberts Industries NV will buy injection molder Lasco Fittings Inc. from London-based engineering firm Tomkins plc.
Terms of the deal, expected to close by Feb. 28, were not released. Lasco, in Brownsville, Tenn., serves irrigation, plumbing, pool and spa, and industrial markets. It processes mainly PVC, but also chlorinated PVC and high density polyethylene, Lasco President Jack McDonald said by telephone Feb. 14. The firm employs more than 500 at its plant and distribution centers.
The acquisition will not affect internal operations or interrupt customer service, McDonald said.
Tomkins is selling Lasco as part of a plan to divest noncore businesses; Aalberts is buying it to grow its U.S. interests, he said.
About 60 percent of Aalberts' sales are in Europe, and about 15 percent of Lasco's $104 million in sales are exports, mainly to Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, McDonald said.
Sealed Air sells PolyMask share to 3M
ST. PAUL, MINN. - 3M Co. of St. Paul has acquired Sealed Air Corp.'s 50 percent interest in PolyMask Corp., a joint venture the two firms formed in 1991.
PolyMask makes films with water-based acrylic adhesives for surface protection of carpets, metals, glass, plastic and wood.
``PolyMask films are the cornerstone for the 3M protective film products platform,'' said Charlie McKenna, 3M business director of industrial adhesives and tapes. ``As 100 percent owners, we'll be able to use 3M technologies to expand more quickly into primary and adjacent markets such as electronics, construction, aerospace, marine and automotive.''
PolyMask employs 105 at its Conover, N.C., plant, 3M spokeswoman Donna Fleming said in a Feb. 13 telephone interview.
Active Burgess acquires China toolmaker
Windsor, Ontario - Windsor-based injection mold maker Active Burgess Mould & Design Ltd. spent 18 months looking for the right partner in China, with no success.
The problem was that it could not solve problems related to quality and timing through a joint venture or operating agreement, said finance Vice President David Read. So Active Burgess opted to acquire Jiwoo Mold in Huizhou and establish its own wholly owned facility in the Pearl River Delta.
The firm had worked with several shops prior to the acquisition. The deal closed in November for an undisclosed price, and the Chinese firm now operates as AB Mold International.
The site includes three buildings with living quarters for the 110 employees, a hot-runner manufacturing operation and a 50,000-square-foot mold-making shop. The plant has designed and produced molds for the auto and consumer-products industries, Read said. Chinese management oversees day-to-day operations, and a program manager reports to executives in Windsor, where mold designs are reviewed before any launch.
Customer reaction has been ``positive but cautious'' so far, he said, but the firm has won new programs since the acquisition.
Heise sites blow mold plant in Vietnam
East Berlin, Conn. - East Berlin-based Heise Industries Inc., a major producer of blow molds, is building a factory in Vietnam.
The plant site, in My Phuoc Industrial Park, is northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. President Tad Heise said production should begin in June at the 12,500-square-foot plant, to be named Heise Industries (Vietnam) Co. Ltd., with about 15 people. It will serve Asia, as well as export some molds to its U.S. customers.
Heise specializes in high-cavitation molds for extrusion blow molding, including for long-stroke and wheel machines, he said. The Vietnamese plant will make smaller-cavitation molds, and molds for specialized, proprietary machines. Initially, the plant will focus on shuttle-machine molds for U.S. customers, but over time, it will grow globally into all blow molding segments.
Heise's U.S. headquarters will supply design and engineering, as well as mold maintenance, to the Vietnamese plant.
In a phone interview, owner Tad Heise said he researched China as a plant site but chose Vietnam for its lower labor costs and supply of skilled workers. A local trade school will provide training to Heise's Vietnamese workers. Vietnam also offered a more-open attitude toward 100 percent foreign ownership, he said.
Meanwhile, Heise has invested about $400,000 in each of the past four years to add metalworking equipment, such as machining centers, in East Berlin.