Plastics company owner buying NFL team
Flex-N-Gate Corp. has a reputation as a very quiet, very private company. Its owner, Shahid Khan, is considered a mystery man in the auto supply sector. But get ready for that to change, in a big way. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Khan has an agreement to buy a majority stake in the St. Louis Rams from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez. Rams fans had two immediate questions. 1) Will the team stay in St. Louis? 2) Who the heck is Shahid Khan? According to the Post-Dispatch, Khan is "an enthusiastic Rams fan who has attended home games," and is "committed to keeping the team in St. Louis." Khan has "special feelings" for the city "because he arrived in St. Louis early in his life when his parents moved to the United States from Pakistan." Flex-N-Gate was founded in 1956 to produce stock racks for pick up trucks that featured a flexible roll-up rear gate. The company moved into original equipment parts in 1968, and Khan joined the company in 1970. Today the company employs more than 9,500 at 48 manufacturing and 9 product development and engineering facilities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. Flex-N-Gate's products include: large body and chassis structural assemblies; full bumper and fascia systems, brackets, receiver hitches; interior plastic panels and pillars; exterior trim components, running board systems; scissor and screw jacks, tools, spare tire hoists, hinges, checks, pedals, parking brakes,and latch systems. In 2001, Flex-N-Gate moved into plastics with its purchase of Ventra Group Inc. of Oakville, Ontario. That purchase allowed the firm to marry its metal structural capabilities with the plastic fascia molding of Ventra. Although they've become major players in the auto supply sector, Khan and Flex-N-Gate have kept a pretty low profile. But now he's going to be in the spotlight, at least in the St. Louis sports pages.
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