Hicks cancels Graham Packaging deal
DALLAS A $3.2 billion deal that would have combined York, Pa.-based Graham Packaging Holding Co. and Dallas-based Hicks Acquisition Co. Inc. is no more, after Hicks officials exercised an option to terminate the agreement.
Officials at both Graham and Hicks declined to comment.
According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hicks entered into a Termination of Purchase Agreement Aug. 2 on the advice of the special-purpose acquisition company's financial advisers.
The deal would have resulted in a publicly traded firm named Graham Packaging Co. Inc.
Graham is owned by New York-based private equity firm Blackstone Group.
Ticona ending PBT production at N.C. site
DALLAS Engineering resins maker Ticona will end production of polybutylene terephthalate and other specialty polyesters at its plant in Shelby, N.C., by Oct. 1, eliminating about 100 jobs.
The move is being made because of a decline in demand for the plant's products and because of poor market conditions, officials with Florence, Ky.-based Ticona said. Compounding work done in Shelby will be moved to Florence.
Production of Vectra-brand liquid crystal polymer in Shelby will not be affected, and the plant will continue to employ about 50. Late last year, Ticona officials said the firm would add Vectra production at a plant in Nanjing, China, in 2010. The firm also makes Vectra at a joint venture plant in Fuji, Japan.
Ticona ranks as the world's largest acetal maker and is part of Celanese Corp., a specialty chemicals firm based in Dallas. Celanese's advanced engineering materials unit including Ticona posted an operating loss of $19 million in the first half of 2009 as sales fell 41 percent to $349 million. Based on sales, the unit was the smallest of Celanese's four units in the first half, with a 13 percent share.
On Wall Street, Celanese's per-share stock price began the year under $15, but since has rebounded and was at $27.30 in early trading Aug. 4.
T.O. Plastics adds to horticultural line
CLEARWATER, MINN. Thermoformer T.O. Plastics has acquired horticultural container tooling and other assets from Rapid Molded Products LLC for an undisclosed price.
The container line from Houston-based Rapid complements T.O.'s existing line, officials with Clearwater-based T.O. said in an Aug. 5 news release. Production of containers using the newly acquired tooling will begin Aug. 15, officials added.
The purchase demonstrates T.O. Plastics' ability to grow when many industries are consolidating and market share is shrinking, President Mike Vallafskey said in the release.
According to a recent Plastics News ranking, T.O. is one of North America's 40 largest thermoformers, with annual sales of $42.1 million.
LPKF Laser opens Mich. welding facility
TUALATIN, ORE. Oregon-based LPKF Laser & Electronics North America is expanding its reach by opening a new 3,500-square-foot building for its Plastic Welding Division in Orion, Mich., north of Detroit.
LPKF makes laser-welding machinery and equipment that uses lasers to fabricate electronic circuits.
This establishes the platform for more growth in North America, said Frank Brunnecker, manager of the Welding Division.
Until last year, the Welding Division's only U.S. location was the Tualatin headquarters of LPKF Laser & Electronics North America. The parent company, LPKF Laser & Electronics AG, is based in Garbsen, Germany.
LPKF opened a small office in 2008 for Chris Korson, sales and marketing manager. The new facility has an applications laboratory, a showroom and more office space, Korson said. The Michigan operation will have four employees by the end of the year, he said.
Oliver Brandmayer is the new technical manager working out of the Michigan office. Brandmayer is hiring a technical sales representative and a receptionist.
LPKF is targeting the automotive industry, where its lasers weld automotive taillights, among other applications.
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