Wilbert Plastics Services Inc. has acquired United Southern Industries Inc., an injection molder in Forest City, N.C.
Meanwhile, Wilbert is closing a thermoforming plant in Winthrop, Iowa, eliminating 117 jobs.
Greg Botner, president and CEO of Belmont, N.C.-based Wilbert, said the acquisition, announced March 5, allows the firm to expand its manufacturing footprint in the Southeast.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
[The acquisition] is a strategic move for [Wilbert], Botner said in a March 8 telephone interview. We'll gain added volume in lawn and garden, and industrial products, and increase penetration for automotive [markets].
United Southern officials were not available for comment.
Work from the Winthrop site will move to Wilbert's thermoforming plants in Belmont and in White Bear Lake, Minn., to optimize capacity, Botner said.
We expect to have everything complete by midyear, he said.
Some employees at Winthrop may relocate to Minnesota, he added.
United Southern makes components for markets including home appliances, automotive, building materials, consumer products, lawn and garden, and packaging. It employed 145 at two plants; Wilbert retained about 105 workers, Botner said.
Manufacturing services include coinjection, gas-assisted injection molding, insert molding, multishot molding and thermoplastic injection, as well as tooling, prototyping and painting.
United Southern ranked No. 147 in Plastics News' most recent survey of North American injection molders, with sales of $30 million.
Wilbert supplies the agricultural, automotive, building products, industrial equipment, consumer products, electronics, health-care, recreational vehicle/watercraft, waste management and custom parts markets.
It moved its headquarters from Broadview, Ill., to North Carolina earlier this year, and said it would spend $5.7 million on improvements during the next three years including adding capacity at its Belmont plant.
In 2009, Wilbert Inc., the holding company of Wilbert Plastics Services and burial vault maker Wilbert Funeral Services Inc., spun off the burial vault business. The vault business continues to be based in Broadview and buys thermoformed plastic vault liners from Wilbert Plastic Services.
Wilbert Plastic Services was No. 18 in Plastics News' most recent thermoformers ranking, and No. 62 among North American injection molders, with combined sales for those operations estimated at $191 million. The company employs about 1,200 at six plants in the U.S.
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