Central Plastics Co. has acquired Gainesville, Texas-based Connectra Fusion Technologies LLC - a maker of polyethylene pipe-joint fusion machines.
Terms of the deal, which closed in March, were not disclosed.
Shawnee, Okla.-based Central Plastics, which injection molds tapping tees, flex restraints, couplings and other products used to join PE pipe, bought Connectra from T.D. Williamson Inc. of Tulsa, Okla.
Connectra will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Plastics, under the same name and leadership. The firm employs about 40 in Gainesville.
Ron Underwood, Connectra president, said the deal will open new distribution channels and provide greater financial resources to the firm.
The fusion equipment maker operates out of a plant formerly occupied by PE pipe extruder Polypipe Inc., also based in Gainesville. Underwood is a former Polypipe president.
Connectra's fusion equipment joins pipes in diameters of one-half inch to 42 inches. Underwood said Connectra is the No. 2 player in the joint fusion machinery market, behind Tulsa-based McElroy Manufacturing Inc.
``Our focus ... has been to simplify the process for the operators,'' Underwood said in a March 30 phone interview. ``We think the potable water market is the largest potential growth market in the industry. It's an enormous market, and to tap that market we're talking about a lot of contractors, municipalities and city crews using fusion joining equipment.''
Smooth-wall PE pipe has dominated the natural gas market, but still is considered a niche player in North American water delivery. The plastics pipe community is confident that will change.