Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership is expanding its presence health care, medical and biotechnology markets by acquiring Anura Plastics Engineering Corp.'s assets.
In 2007, Anura Plastics, which does business as APEC, had sales of about $16 million, up from $13.5 million in the previous year.
Freudenberg-NOK of Plymouth, Mich., disclosed the acquisition Jan. 2. Terms were not announced.
In early 2007, Anura formed a manufacturing joint venture in Shenzhen, China. Company officials wanted to tap into the growing market to supply components for medical devices in China.
Anura was established in 1997, and employs 140 in Baldwin Park, Calif., where it is based, and 35 in Shenzhen. It operates 43 injection molding presses in Baldwin Park and five in Shenzhen, with 28-200 tons of clamping force. Each site has a Class 100,000 clean room.
Acquiring Anura broadens the partnership's health-care and medical business involving Jenline Industries Ltd. of Gloucester, Mass., acquired in 2004, and Helix Medical Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif., acquired in 2006.
The businesses ``will now be organized into a separate, dedicated health-care products division,'' said Jorg Schneewind, general manager of the new division and chief executive officer of a new holding entity, Helix Medical LLC, encompassing the three businesses and employing close to 400.
Anura's China location has 35,000 square feet of space and low operating costs, he said.
``With the addition of APEC, we will now expand our capabilities into the plastic segment and into production in China,'' he added.
The Baldwin Park site, which occupies 72,000 square feet, will expand its clean room in a few months. ``The clean room is packed, but we have the space to double it,'' Schneewind said in a telephone interview. ``The building is suitable for expanding.''
APEC founders Wolfgang Buehler and Anura Welikala sold the assets and will remain with the company. Buehler will take a strategic leadership role with Freudenberg-NOK and Welikala will manage the Baldwin Park and Shenzhen operations.
The deal does not change Buehler's ownership of APEC sister company Magor Mold Inc. of San Dimas, Calif. Magor makes prototype and production tooling for plastic and silicone components, and is slated to provide ongoing services to the APEC sites under a new partnership agreement.
APEC started as a molder of thermoplastic medical and biotech components, and later added liquid silicone molding for needleless access device components and overmolding of complex systems.
Freudenberg & Co. KG of Weinheim, Germany, and NOK Corp. of Tokyo combined their resources in the Americas in 1989 to form the general partnership, which primarily supplies automotive and industrial original equipment manufacturers.
Now with annual sales exceeding $1 billion, the Freudenberg-NOK partnership employs more than 6,000 and has operations in 32 locations in 15 states in the United States, four sites in Alberta and Ontario in Canada, three in Mexico and one in Brazil.
In addition to the newly structured health-care products unit, the firm is exploring the formation of separate operating entities for its heavy industry and aerospace businesses, Schneewind said.