Film equipment maker Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. is for sale, said newly named Chief Executive Officer Carl Johnson.
Johnson confirmed what many in machinery circles already suspected, since Battenfeld Gloucester's German parent company, SMS GmbH, already has sold off all its other plastics equipment businesses - Battenfeld injection presses, and the extruder manufacturing operations of Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik, American Maplan and Cincinnati Extrusion. European private equity firms were the buyers.
The sales left Battenfeld Gloucester as the only plastics machinery holding for SMS.
SMS, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, and owned by Heinrich Weiss and his family, focused heavily on machinery for the steel industry.
``Basically, SMS has decided to divest itself entirely out of plastics machinery,'' Johnson said in a May 21 telephone interview.
There is no solid time line to make a deal. ``We will be sold sometime between now and two years,'' he said.
Johnson is a 12-year veteran of the machinery maker in Gloucester, Mass. Before he was promoted May 3 to CEO, he was group product manager for Battenfeld Gloucester's blown film machinery worldwide.
Johnson, an industry insider, assumes the CEO spot from outsider John Kaplan, who was brought in by SMS to restructure Battenfeld Gloucester. Kaplan no longer is involved with the company.
Kaplan was named CEO last November, replacing Brian Marvelley in a shake-up of top management. He started a restructuring that eliminated a large number of white-collar positions.
Johnson said Battenfeld Gloucester employs 260 people in Gloucester, and the layoffs are over now. In fact, the machinery maker wants to hire about 10 engineers as it builds a research and development team to create new technologies.
``We're stable. We've got a $60 million backlog,'' he said. ``Our customers have been very good to us.''
Battenfeld Gloucester generates about $100 million to $120 million in annual sales, according to Johnson.
Before he joined Battenfeld Gloucester, Johnson was senior manufacturing engineer at Thermedics Polymer Products in Woburn, Mass., a maker of medical and industrial polyurethane products such as tubing, sheet and film. He also worked on the shop floor at a Lord Corp. plant in Gloucester, making industrial sheet and film.
Battenfeld Gloucester also appointed Klaus Kunz vice president of aftermarket sales and service, and Matthias Otto vice president of engineering. Both men are veterans of the packaging industry.
The company also promoted Angelo Vissas as regional sales manager and William Wild as customer service manager.