Swiss industrial group Georg Fischer Corp. said Jan. 8 it has agreed to purchase Central Plastics Co. for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, expected to close by the end of March, is subject to Federal Trade Commission approval.
Shawnee, Okla.-based Central Plastics injection molds tapping tees, flex restraints, coupling and other products used to join polyethylene pipe.
Schaffhausen, Switzerland-based Georg Fischer serves the same markets in Europe and Asia with its GF Piping Systems division. The company also manufactures precision machinery and metal automotive parts.
The acquisition bolsters Georg Fischer's North American portfolio. Central has about 500 employees and annual sales of about $80 million.
Georg Fischer officials said they do not anticipate much change in Central Plastics operations once the deal closes.
``Central Plastics really fits with our global strategy,'' said Ruedi Schulthess, GF's communication project manager, in a Jan. 8 telephone interview. ``We're basically just continuing the business.''
Plastic pipe has seen success in replacing metal in European and Asian industrial and utility markets, Schulthess said. He expects more of the same in the United States.
``Plastic has a very, very good chance. It [has] a big benefit over metal in the water market,'' he said. ``With Central Plastics, we want to repeat what we're doing in Europe and Asia.''
Georg Fischer already has plants and offices in Little Rock, Ark., and El Monte, Calif. The deal will double the company's U.S. operations.
Central Plastics officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. In a letter to customers, President Rocky Wade said the acquisition ``will afford Central Plastics Co. further scale and opportunities for growth domestically and internationally.''
Central manufactures PE pipe-joint fusion machines in Gainesville, Texas, since acquiring Connectra Fusion Technologies LLC in the second quarter.
Internationally, Central also employs 100 at a distribution site in Wellington, New Zealand, a molding operation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a nonplastics-related facility in Tianjin, China.