Hoffer Plastics Corp. will extend its geographic reach through an alliance with Intec Group Inc.
Hoffer bought an unspecified minority interest in custom injection molder Intec, effective July 11. The two firms see it as a complementary marriage since their markets have little overlap. ``We do a lot of molding for Fortune 500 companies,'' Hoffer sales and marketing director Jack Shedd said in a telephone interview. ``They want us to have a global footprint.''
Intec of Palatine, Ill., runs plants in Palatine; Guaymas, Mexico; and Singapore; as well as three plants in China, in Tianjin, Shanghai and Changzhou. It employs 150 at the 60,000-square-foot Palatine operation and more than 700 at its five other plants.
``Intec is a recognized leader in the global [automotive] marketplace and this alliance provides us with access to its overseas manufacturing capabilities,'' said Hoffer President William Hoffer.
Hoffer employs about 300 and operates 12 presses in its 360,000-square-foot plant in South Elgin, Ill.
Automotive accounts for only 8 percent of Hoffer's sales among its other markets, including packaging and industrial and consumer products. Intec's reputation as an auto molder should help Hoffer gain business in the area, he said.
Separately, Hoffer recently landed new automotive business of its own, Shedd said, spurring the firm to buy four 500-ton presses and auxiliary equipment for about $2 million.
Intec specializes in niche molding to keep afloat in the troubled auto molding arena, said Intec Co-Chief Executive Officer Scott Perlman.
``We are not a traditional molder,'' Perlman said. Intec's work concentrates on door-latch systems, fuel pumps, sensor housings and motor components, mainly sold to Tier 1 suppliers. Much of the work involves insert molding, a technology in which Intec is more experienced. Nearly all of its North American work is auto-related, while the offshore plants count automotive for about half of sales.
Shedd said his firm is debt-free and nimble enough to act quickly on new business opportunities offshore and in North America.
William Hoffer and Perlman knew each other for some 15 years before forming the alliance.
Intec logged North American sales of $62 million for 2007, and Hoffer had sales of $52 million, according to Plastics News' recent injection molding survey.