The Texen packaging division of PSB Industries SA has expanded its U.S. operations with the July 24 purchase of injection molder and mold maker Mar-Lee Cos. Inc.
Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Texen acquired all of Mar-Lee Cos., including Mar-Lee Medical, Mar-Lee Packaging & Consumer Products and Mar-Lee Mold. Mar-Lee's molding operations are in Fitchburg, Mass.
Former Mar-Lee owner John Gravelle will remain as president, Mar-Lee's Stan Bowker has been named chief operating officer and PSB's Alain Mutschler will become senior vice president of Leominster, Mass.-based Mar-Lee, Gravelle said in a telephone interview.
Texen which touts itself as the world's third-largest manufacturer of plastic packaging for the health-care and cosmetics industries had 2007 sales of $197 million, according to Gravelle. Parent firm PSB, based in Annecy, France, had sales of $332 million.
``This is not something that just jumped up it is an accumulation of things,'' Gravelle said. ``We pursued [Texen] as a client and started working with them two years ago. I've been to France several times.''
He said he believes those discussions have led to a deal with a strategic buyer that can help Mar-Lee grow.
Texen entered into the deal partly to help save on freight charges for its products, he said. The favorable exchange rate also encouraged the firm to establish U.S. production, he said. ``It is an opportunity for them to expand their business and to enter new markets,'' he added.
Texen will retain Mar-Lee's 90 or so employees and expects to expand to 150 by 2010, Gravelle said.
He said Mar-Lee posted sales of $19.6 million in 2007 and is on track for about $24 million this year.
He said Texen is quite interested in Mar-Lee's medical and consumer products markets, and plans to add a business unit to support its own high-end packaging for health-care products and cosmetics. Texen, which makes packaging for perfumes and cosmetics, listed L'Oreal, Lancome and Estee Lauder among its clients in a 2007 brochure.
PSB is a publicly traded company in France. It also has a specialty chemicals division.