Re:Think Recycling of Chicago has made its first acquisition, buying PureTech Plastics from Tekni-Plex Inc., for an undisclosed price.
The deal includes a post-consumer PET recycling plant in East Farmingdale, N.Y. The plant employs 30 and has annual recycling capacity of 20 million pounds.
PureTech operates four granulators and various sorting equipment in addition to the 20 million-pound-capacity washing line, General Manager George Smilow said Nov. 12 by phone. The firm sources most of its bottles from deposit redemption sites in New York City, but receives some bottle feedstock from other parts of New York state and New England, he said.
PureTech sells its recycled PET to end users in bottle, sheet and strapping markets. The firm occupies 70,000 square feet in a larger manufacturing plant and has room there for future expansion.
David Katz, Tony Conte and other investors founded PureTech in the late 1980s. The firm has been located in East Farmingdale since 1992.
``Demand has been increasing, and this will allow us to grow,'' Smilow said of the Re:Think deal.
Re:Think founded earlier this year by David Bender and Carter Smith plans to keep PureTech management in place. Re:Think also wants to boost capacity in East Farmingdale, and already has extended the plant's operating schedule from five days a week to seven days.
``I have enormous confidence in the people at PureTech Plastics to drive this business to new heights for our customers,'' Bender said in a news release.
Re:Think describes itself as a partner to global businesses that want sustainable solutions for their waste. Bender, the firm's chief executive officer, has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and design experience. Most recently, he served as CEO of Havi Global Solutions, a supply chain management firm in Downers Grove, Ill., and of Havi's the Marketing Store, a marketing communications group.
Smith has more than 20 years of corporate and investment banking experience. Prior to launching Re:Think, he was chief financial officer of Colorlab Cosmetics in Chicago.
``We're targeting industries where waste can be improved significantly,'' Bender said Nov. 12. ``Companies want to be green and socially responsible, but they also want to make a profit.''
Bender first became aware of the value of sustainability while working with $1 billion in annual packaging purchases at Havi, he said.
``We bought a lot of plastic and paper for McDonald's and other large companies,'' Bender said. ``So I saw the role that recycling was starting to play.''
Re:Think ``is not limited to plastics'' and eventually may work in other materials, he said. But ``for now, recycled PET is our focus.''
Tekni-Plex officials said in late 2007 that the firm was considering asset sales to reduce its debt load. The Somerville, N.J.-based firm rang up sales of $773 million in packaging, tubing, compounds and related products during fiscal 2007, but posted a loss of $61 million. It has not been profitable since 2003; so far in 2008, it has announced closings of three plants operated by its Dolco Packaging unit.
A sales breakout for PureTech was unavailable. Tekni-Plex officials could not be reached for comment.