Sigma Plastics Group continues to acquire new properties.
In recent interviews and e-mails, Alfred Teo Sr., the founder, chairman and CEO of the film and sheet maker, said two acquisitions will be finalized by the end of the year and one will close this month. He did not give details.
Teo said Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Sigma's steady growth even during the recent U.S. economic recession is due to several factors.
Everything has been good thanks to the customers, suppliers and all my employees, my managers and my four sons. They've kept the company going strong, he said in an Aug. 30 phone interview.
Sigma opened 2010 with another deal, for McNeely Plastic Products Inc., a maker of blown film, laminations and bags in Clinton, Miss.
Sigma made three film buys in 2009: blown film maker Santa Fe Extruders Inc., in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; FlexSol Packaging Corp. of Pompano Beach, Fla.; and ISO Poly Films Inc. of Gray Court, S.C.
The acquisitions were part of Teo's modus operandi: I have always invested when nobody else was investing, he said.
Sigma's aggressiveness followed a dry spell during the recent economic downturn. 2008 was a particular low point, Teo said.
We lost probably 30-35 percent of our [sales] volume, he said. Since the beginning of 2009, every month has been getting better and better.
2008 also was when Teo was released after serving an 11-month sentence in a minimum-security federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va. His incarceration followed a guilty plea to sharing inside information about the now-defunct Musicland Stores Corp., where he was the largest shareholder, and Cirrus Logic Inc., where he served as a director. Teo paid a $1 million fine in the case.
While Teo was away, his son Mark became Sigma's president and CEO. When the elder Teo was released, Mark Teo remained as president and became Sigma's chief operating officer as well. Alfred Teo Sr.'s three other sons are top executives in the group.
The elder Teo remains involved in a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over filings in the late 1990s related to his becoming majority owner of Musicland. The suit, filed in 2004, is before U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark, N.J., and has yet to go to trial. The judge on Aug. 10 denied motions by the involved parties for a summary judgment in the matter.
Teo Sr. and an SEC spokesman both declined to comment about the ongoing civil case.
Meanwhile, Sigma-owned companies continue ramping up production capacity. McNeely recently purchased a 71-inch co- extrusion film line from Windmoeller & Hoelscher its third Varex line. The equipment is set to be delivered this year.
Every month that goes by is getting better and better. There's not going to be a huge [economic] recovery, but I am convinced that there's not going to be a double-dip [recession], Teo said.
Sigma ranks No. 2 in Plastics News' survey of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with estimated sales of $2.21 billion for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2009. The company's rank is unchanged from last year's survey, which charted Sigma's sales at $1.8 billion. The firm employs 5,000 at 35 North American plants.