Plastic shapes and forms distributor Aetna Plastics Corp. of Cleveland has grown by acquiring Pro-Fab Manufacturing Inc., an Ohio plastic assemblies and systems maker.
Aetna will close Pro-Fab's headquarters and plant in Macedonia and transfer equipment and six employees to a site in nearby Mantua, Ohio, by the end of the month. Aetna acquired the Mantua site when it bought Vanguard Plastics Inc. in 2004.
Like Vanguard, Pro-Fab makes corrosion-resistant plastic parts and assemblies. Pro-Fab and Vanguard had competed in that sector and both had been Aetna customers before being acquired, Aetna President Gary Davis said by telephone.
No purchase price was disclosed. Pro-Fab was owned by Magnus Equipment of Willoughby, Ohio. Magnus has no other plastics-related businesses.
Pro-Fab makes assemblies and systems based on PVC, polypropylene and other materials for a variety of industrial markets. Some of its products include specialized tanks, ventilation systems, exhaust hoods, scrubbers and fixtures.
Aetna had been a plastic shapes and forms supplier that did a small amount of fabricating. But the company expanded fabricating operations when it bought Vanguard, which makes corrosion-resistant products such as large water-treatment tanks and containment vessels. Since then, Aetna has invested more than $1 million in buying and renovating two additional buildings at the Mantua site, Davis said. The expansions allowed Aetna to close a plant it operated in Akron.
The firm still plans to be active in acquisitions. ``We're looking for others in the same market area,'' Davis said. ``This is a very fragmented industry and there might be some owners looking to exit.''
>From its Cleveland warehouse, Aetna continues to distribute rod, sheet and tube products based on commodity and engineering resins. Davis declined to disclose sales for the 30-employee firm, which was founded by his father, Paul. Founded in 1946, the firm ranks as one of the oldest plastics products distributors in the U.S.