Westport, Conn.-based investment firm Private Equity Capital Corp. has agreed to purchase custom profile extruder Intek Plastics Inc. in Hastings, Minn.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Intek, which sold about $58 million worth of goods in 2006, supplies plastic window components, such as weatherstripping and jamb liners, to most of the leading wood window and door makers. The firm also makes several other low-volume custom parts from an array of plastics.
Dave Losch, managing director for Private Equity Capital, said Intek's emphasis on lean manufacturing is what made the company attractive.
``They're very efficient with lean manufacturing, in particular,'' Losch said in a March 16 telephone interview. ``We just think that's the kind of thing, from a nuts-and-bolts operations perspective, you need to be successful in an increasingly competitive economy.''
Intek operates out of two plants in Hastings. The company employs about 310, and is fresh off a few seasonal layoffs over the past couple months.
Rob Tracy, Intek's president and chief executive officer, joined the company in 2003 as vice president of operations, and has been a proponent of lean principles for the past decade.
``It's not common in extrusion markets,'' Tracy said. ``We've been doing it almost four years now, and we're getting real good. It was something to help us, short-term, reduce cost, but long-term, develop improved capabilities that help us grow. And it creates a better value proposition for customers.''
Intek products include parts for point-of-purchase displays, and gaskets for the refrigeration and electronics industry. The company processes PVC, chlorinated PVC, ABS, polycarbonate, thermoplastic elastomers including thermoplastic vulcanizates, and other plastics.
Among its new projects: a dasher board component for hockey rinks. Intek officials are excited about the application.
``We're aggressively looking to grow in new markets, and that's one of our success stories,'' Tracy said. Hockey rinks typically have a hard polyethylene board that connects the dasher board to the glass surrounding the ice, he said. National Hockey League officials asked Minneapolis-based Athletica - a hockey rink manufacturer - to come up with something that better cushions the blow for player collisions along the boards. Athletica officials teamed up with Intek to make a board, using TPV.
The New York Islanders' arena already uses the board, and Tracy expects it to be installed in other NHL rinks after the season.
``It's a nice safety feature,'' he said.
Intek will be the 16th member of the equity firm's portfolio, according to Private Equity Capital's Web site. The company also owns Scranton, Pa.-based thick-gauge sheet extruder Compression Polymers Corp.