An auto industry plastics manufacturing veteran is about to buy two Collins & Aikman Corp. plants out of bankruptcy with plans to run them as a stand-alone business.
Williamston Products Inc. bid $2.9 million to purchase the blow molding facilities in Williamston, Mich., which employ about 170. If the sale goes through as expected by the end of March, it will mark the first sale from bankrupt Collins & Aikman's plastics unit.
Williamston Chief Executive Officer Frank Remesch declined to comment until the deal is complete. An auction for the sites took place on March 14.
Williamston Products has no operations at this point and a business address in Troy, Mich. But Remesch has a long history in the auto business. He ran plastics operations for Ford Motor Co. and its parts operation - later spun off as Visteon Corp.
Remesch oversaw Ford's injection molding trim plant in Utica, Mich., and ran the blow molding and injection molding site in Milan, Mich., - including the launch of six-layer coextruded fuel tanks there.
He joined blow molder Vitec LLC in 2005 as vice president of manufacturing.
C&A has been in Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit since May 2005. The Southfield, Mich.-based firm is now selling itself off, with the bidding now open for its more than $1 billion worth of automotive plastics.
Its biggest pending plastics deal is a bid by Troy, Mich.-based Cadence Innovation LLC to buy nine of C&A's North American injection molding operations. No auction date has been set yet for those plants.
While the injection molding side of the firm has been getting most of the attention, the Williamston plants have boasted a solid reputation in the industry, winning a spot among the top manufacturing sites in North America in 2004 - the same year it won accolades as the top supplier to Ford's Wixom, Mich., assembly plant.
The site has blow molded headrests for DaimlerChrysler Corp. minivans and molded pillar trim for Ford's Lincoln Town Car as well as other interior trim parts for automakers and other suppliers.