Injection molding veteran Greg Botner has re-entered the market by purchasing a plant in McAllen, Texas, from Charter Oak Capital Partners LP.
Botner and two partners bought the 75,000-square-foot plant for an undisclosed sum earlier this month. The plant employs 100 and operates 42 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 75-1,000 tons.
The new plant will operate as Gmark Industries Inc. and expects to post sales of $11 million this year. About 75 percent of the plant's output consists of automotive parts, with the remainder sold into the appliance market.
Botner has been involved in injection molding since the mid-1970s, most recently serving as president and chief executive officer of Titan Plastics Group from 2001-05, when the firm was dissolved. The McAllen site was one of nine plants operated by Titan.
In an April 24 phone interview, Botner said the ``regionality'' of the McAllen plant is ``the biggest part of its attraction.'' The plant is near the Mexico border and ships 60-70 percent of its output to Mexico.
``More manufacturing is going to be located in the deep South and along the [Mexico] border in the years to come, and we're positioning ourselves to be there,'' Botner said. ``We're making this investment on a positive feeling in those industries. There's going to be a lot more action in that border region.''
In addition to molding, the McAllen plant can provide light assembly, decorating, insert molding, program management and tooling resources to customers in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, as well as in the southwest U.S. and throughout Mexico, Botner said. The site also has TS16949 accreditation, which Botner said is important to automotive suppliers.
And although the North American automotive market is in the midst of troubled times, Botner said the sector could see ``some uptick'' in the second half of 2007.
``I think the inventory situation was a lot worse than what people were led to believe, and that a lot more production has been cut than people realize,'' said Botner, who also served as president and CEO of Sterling Heights, Mich.-based injection molder U.S. Farathane Corp. in the late 1990s.
``Some people are cutting back more, but some are coming back up a little bit. We're in the midst of a correction,'' he said.
Botner will serve as president of Gmark and he will continue to be based in Portage, Mich. Since late 2005, he's been a board member with Revere Industries LLC, the Indianapolis-based firm that Charter Oak formed from three former Titan plants in late 2005. A fourth Titan plant was added to Revere earlier this year.
Gmark already is looking to grow, either organically or via acquisitions, Botner said. Potential targets could be near Mexico or elsewhere in North America. Titan was assembled from the mergers of five injection molding firms between 1995 and 2001.