The owner of French injection press maker Billion SA, Korbinian Kiesl, has until Nov. 20 to make another bid for struggling Italian press builder Sandretto Industrie srl, Kiesl said at K 2007.
Sandretto has been under Italian government control since it went into special administration last year. The parent of U.S. press maker HPM, Tinton Falls, N.J.-based Taylor's Industrial Services LLC, bought Sandretto in 2005, but then asked an Italian court to place the Turin-based company under protection from creditors so it could restructure its debts.
The court then put Sandretto up for sale.
In late September, Billion and an undisclosed Italian businessman put in their final bids for Sandretto, but the Italian government rejected both bids. Kiesl said he actually has made two bids for Sandretto, and both were turned down.
Kiesl addressed the Sandretto issue at Billion's K show news conference Oct. 29 in Dusseldorf. Billion, based in Oyonnax, France, is a small firm targeting specialized machines to a few high-tech markets. Kiesl said he is not interested in Sandretto's business model of a broad line of mass-market injection presses.
But he said Billion could use more space for production and research and development.
``I'm not looking for volume; I'm looking for capacity,'' he said.
``We are having the approach of staying in the niches of technology. ... It's pretty straightforward: packaging, the automotive industry, with the rubber and plastic molding,'' Kiesl said. ``So I'm getting to the limit of what I can handle of my production and [research and development] work.''
Kiesl said he has the opportunity to make another bid until Nov. 20. He did not say whether he would try again to buy Sandretto.
The Italian government's problem with his previous two bids was not the amount of money offered, but issues of head count at Sandretto after any deal.
At K 2007, Billion was molding a two-component housewares tote, a two-component garage-door opener and a two-shot automotive oil-pan cover combining rubber and glass-fiber reinforced nylon.