ZEQ starting Indiana extrusion operation
ANDERSON, IND. - Fledgling plastic lumber maker ZEQ Manufacturing LLC has bought equipment from defunct structural lumber maker Trimax Building Products Inc. and is starting an extrusion operation in Anderson.
Principals have invested more than $6 million in the new firm.
ZEQ will occupy 56,000 square feet of a 565,800-square-foot building. The firm is set to open in June, and company officials expect to employ 40 by the end of the year.
ZEQ will serve the decking, furniture and transportation markets, according to a news release from the city of Anderson. Company officials could not be reached for comment.
Kevin Maddox is ZEQ's chief executive officer. Scott House is chief operating officer. House is a 20-year veteran of the plastics industry, said Linda Dawson, Anderson's deputy director of economic development, in a May 29 telephone interview.
Brian Larson, president of the Plastic Lumber Trade Association of Akron, Ohio, and Worthington, Minn.-based Bedford Technology LLC, confirmed ZEQ had bought equipment from Trimax. Bedford also added equipment from the Trimax sale, he said.
Anderson, about 25 miles north of Indianapolis, has been named by Forbes magazine to be among the 100 best small metro markets in which to conduct business.
Audax buys gasket and seal maker Utex
BOSTON - Private equity firm Audax Group has acquired Houston-based Utex Industries Inc., a maker of gaskets and engineered seals used in gas, oil and water distribution.
Utex makes several products, including molded items from engineering resins like polyimide, polysulfone and polyamide, as well as extruded flexible profiles from rubber and other polymers for seals and gaskets.
Terms of the mid-May deal were not disclosed.
According to market research firm Hoover's Inc., Utex has annual sales of about $33 million.
Utex Chief Executive Officer Michael Balas will maintain his role under the new owner.
``We look forward to working with Michael Balas and his team to grow the business by expanding into new markets and executing strategic add-on acquisitions,'' said Audax CEO Geoffrey Rehnert in a news release.
The deal is Boston-based Audax's second in the plastics industry in as many months. In April, Audax bought two polyethylene pipe and conduit extrusion companies - Dura-Line Corp. in Knoxville, Tenn., and Arnco Corp. in Elyria, Ohio. Audax has combined the two firms' operations.
Yachiyo invests in American expansion
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Yachiyo of America Inc. is investing $11.5 million to build a research and development center in Columbus, to support its expanding manufacturing operations in North America.
The company, part of Yachiyo Industry Co. Ltd. of Yachiyo, Japan, makes sunroofs, blow molded fuel tanks and steel stampings for the auto industry. The 47,119-square-foot research center will add 34 jobs to the eight it already has in research and development in the region, according to a May 29 news release from the state of Ohio.
Columbus-based Yachiyo has six plants in North America now, and recently announced an expansion in Steele, Ala., to blow mold fuel tanks.
Ohio provided a low-interest, $2 million loan to Yachiyo to support development of the center.
Datran puts $5 million into U.S. facility
POINTE-AU-PERE, QUEBEC - Canadian paint and surface finishing specialist Datran Inc. is investing $5 million in its first facility in the United States.
The Greenville, S.C., site expands the company's reach to customers in the off-road transportation and sport equipment industries already in the area, plant manager Michel Veilleux said in a May 31 news release.
Datran, based in Pointe-au-Pere, has both paint and decor transfer specialties for plastic parts used for personal watercraft, helmets, automotive trim and other parts.
The new site will employ 70. The company already has three facilities in Quebec.