CrownBrook Capital LLC has made its second consolidation deal in plastics recycling by purchasing a controlling interest in Nicos Polymers & Grinding Inc. of Nazareth, Pa.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal. Nicos has annual sales of about $13 million and employs 90 at its 180,000-square-foot plant.
New York-based CrownBrook is making the purchase through CrownBrook Debco LLC, which was formed in January when CrownBrook bought controlling interest in recycler Debco Plastics Inc. of Freeport, N.Y. Debco's equipment now will be transferred to the Nicos site by the end of the year. The Freeport building may be used for warehousing, officials said.
CrownBrook partner and co-founder Ron Schinik described Nicos as ``the East Coast's premier grinder, pulverizer and blender.''
``When you combine Nicos with Debco's recycling, reprocessing and repelletizing, we've got the ability to take best-in-class with both companies,'' Schinik added. ``The culture of Nicos is a very familial culture. People view [Nicos] as a wonderful place to work.''
Jim Knicos and his wife, Tara, founded the firm in West Babylon, N.Y., in 1978, dropping the ``K'' from the family name so customers could find them in the phone book, Jim Knicos said in a recent telephone interview.
Knicos entered plastics recycling after two years as a Wall Street stockbroker. He and his wife got their start as brokers of plastic scrap by renting two one-car garages from their neighbors.
As the firm grew, it moved to a 60,000-square-foot site in Palmer Township, Pa., in 1988, and then built its $4.5 million Nazareth plant in 2000. Nicos now handles 90 million pounds of scrap annually, using 19 grinders and eight pulverizers.
In 2005, the company recycled 7,500 gates that were on display as The Gates, a public art work in New York's Central Park. The project involved recycling 800,000 pounds of PVC, polystyrene, polypropylene and nylon fabric.
Adding the Debco assets also will allow Nicos to do compounding. The deal will add 10 new jobs in Nazareth, with potential to add 20 more in the next three years.
During that time, the Nicos business could double both in sales and processing volume, Jim Knicos said.
The sale is bittersweet for Jim Knicos, who will stay on with the firm for three years. He credited his wife - who served as the firm's administrative vice president - with being ``a strong, important part of the business.''
``Because we owned the business, it hasn't just been a job, it's been a lifestyle,'' he said. ``But I'm 57 years old and the business is at a crossroads. I don't have the energy that's needed to drive it to the next level. It's going into younger, more vibrant hands.
``Some employees have been with us for 25 years,'' Knicos said. ``I'm going to miss my employees and my customers. They're the ones who are responsible for my success.''
Schinik said CrownBrook expects to make more acquisitions in plastics recycling in the next six to 12 months. ``There are clearly opportunities to grow the business. We're actively negotiating with several companies,'' he said.
Nicos was assisted in the deal by Polymer Transaction Advisors Inc. in Newbury, Ohio, and Barnes Wendling CPAs Inc. of Cleveland.