Two former Magna International Inc. executives have helped form Innovative Composites Inc., a company that develops new composite technologies.
Innovative President Terry Ball was president of Decoma Exterior Trim. Innovative's chief financial officer, Fraser Wray, was president and chief executive officer of Decoma International Inc. The Decoma units are part of Magna.
Innovative Composites has begun working on thermoplastic composites reinforced with long glass fiber, Kevlar and other materials, Ball said in a telephone interview. Although the company is based in Toronto, its manufacturing facility is in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
``We do a lot of laminating of continuous fiber wetted out with thermoplastics,'' Ball said. ``It's worked out well.''
Innovative Composites is a developmental company so its sales are still small. It was formed in Michigan two years ago, but has been incorporated in Ontario since June, according to Ball.
The company will become listed on the Toronto TSX stock exchange as a venture capital firm. The listing will come about by an exchange of shares with Kingsmill Capital Ventures II Inc. of Burlington, Ontario, now listed on TSX.
Innovative plans to expand by acquiring Lakeshore Diversified Products Inc. of Spring Lake, Mich. Lakeshore is an injection molder that itself is expanding. Lakeshore is installing three presses with clamping forces of 1,300-1,500 tons to extend its press range, which now comprises 33 presses with clamping forces up to 800 tons.
Ball said his company will use Lakeshore's toolroom to help it develop the composites business. At the same time, it will seek to expand Lakeshore's automotive business through Innovative contacts, and will help the firm diversify into new markets. Automotive now accounts for about 60 percent of its business.
For the year ended Dec. 31, Lakeshore had sales of US$6.3 million and earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization of $309,000. It had total assets of $3.35 million and liabilities of $3 million.