PolyOne Corp. has made a strong move into specialty compounding by acquiring GLS Corp., a thermoplastic elastomer compounder in McHenry, Ill.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, which was announced Nov. 14 and remains pending. GLS is privately owned by the Dehmlow family and has annual sales of about $130 million.
``Combining GLS's technological capabilities with PolyOne's global infrastructure and commercial presence uniquely positions us to capitalize on the expanding TPE market,'' said Steve Newlin, PolyOne chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
Existing management at GLS is expected to remain in place, PolyOne spokesman John Daggett said. The deal is scheduled to close in early 2008, he added.
GLS employs 200 at plants in McHenry and in Suzhou, China. The firm is a licensed compounder for Kraton, Sabic Innovative Plastics and BASF Corp., and recently struck a similar arrangement with Dow Chemical Co. The GLS-Dow deal was announced at K 2007 in Dsseldorf, Germany.
Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne ranks as North America's largest compounder with a market share of about 10 percent. The firm posted global sales of $2.6 billion in 2006.
The acquisition of GLS ``is an outstanding move for PolyOne,'' said market analyst Bill Ridenour, owner of Polymer Transaction Advisors Inc. in Newbury, Ohio.
``This provides PolyOne with a major presence in TPE compounding, which was an area where they had little, if any, presence,'' Ridenour said. ``The TPE market is very large and is still growing at a 6-7 percent annual rate, which is good when compared to other plastics.''
Consultant Robert Eller - owner of Robert Eller Associates LLC in Akron, Ohio - agreed the deal should help both sides.
``GLS has a very strong position in high-value TPE compounds serving the soft-touch and two-shot injection molding, nonautomotive markets,'' he said. ``These are among the end-use markets that have a significant shift to Asian regions.''