Thomas & Betts Corp. has sold the PVC pipe and conduit business of the former Lamson & Sessions Co. to Mitsubishi Corp. for an undisclosed sum.
The deal includes four vinyl extrusion plants located in High Springs, Fla.; Woodland, Calif.; Nazareth, Pa.; and Oklahoma City.
Mitsubishi of Tokyo has renamed the purchased business Prime Conduit Inc. It is based at Lamson's former headquarters in Beachwood, Ohio.
Jim Rajecki, general manager of Prime Conduit and a long-time Lamson executive, said Mitsubishi wants to expand its PVC pipe business. Mitsubishi also owns Grand Island, Neb.-based PVC pipe maker Diamond Plastics Corp.
The added buying power will give Diamond and Prime stronger bargaining positions in their resin-buying efforts, but the companies will have little connection otherwise, he said.
Diamond primarily serves the water and plumbing industries, and Prime will continue Lamson's focus on the nonmetallic electrical market.
Thomas & Betts officials did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
There will be very little change within the four plants, Rajecki said. Prime officials are exploring new corporate headquarters options in the Cleveland area, but could end up staying in Beachwood.
``There's going to be some structural changes to be more cost-effective and lean, but for the most part, it's business as usual,'' he said.
The Lamson name still exists under T&B ownership, which for now includes Lamson & Session's polyethylene pipe unit, although those assets also are for sale. The PE pipe business has three extrusion plants, located in Tennille, Ga.; Mountain Grove, Mo.; and Erie, Pa.
Memphis, Tenn.-based T&B is keeping Lamson's injection molding capacity, which includes plants in Clinton, Iowa, and Bowling Green, Ohio.
Combined, Lamson's PVC and PE conduit business generated about $230 million in sales for the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2007.