Carlisle FoodService Products has entered the thermoforming arena by acquiring Proex Inc. of Batavia, Ill.
``This acquisition of Proex is a significant step toward Carlisle's vision of becoming the single best source for all food-service and sanitary maintenance product needs,'' Carlisle FoodService President David Shannon said in a Jan. 28 news release.
Carlisle FoodService will operate Proex as a separate company and Proex President Lon Frye will remain in place. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Proex had 2007 sales of $25 million in thermoformed polystyrene and polypropylene food packaging, including containers for deli and ready-to-eat meals. The firm extrudes its own sheet.
``We're a new area for Carlisle and they want to grow us,'' Frye said by telephone. ``They will put in the capital and commitment.''
Thermoforming will complement Carlisle's other plastics processes, including injection molding, low pressure foam molding, rotational molding and compression molding, Shannon said. Carlisle already does some vacuum forming, he said.
Carlisle FoodService's headquarters plant in Oklahoma City is its largest for plastics processing, but it also does that work in Sparta, Wis.; Atlanta, Mexico and China.
Frye founded Proex in 1989. The company employs about 175 and runs 11 thermoforming lines.
Carlisle FoodService makes dinnerware and drinkware, catering equipment, cookware, storage and handling goods, cleaning tools, trash containers and other products. The company is a unit of Carlisle Cos. Inc. of Charlotte, N.C.