WENDEN, GERMANY (Sept. 2, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Elexis AG, the parent company of Hekuma GmbH, the maker of high-speed robots for injection molding and thermoforming, has a new owner: SMS GmbH, a German industrial conglomerate once known in the plastics industry for its equipment holdings.
Elexis, which is traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, accepted the offer by SMS on July 13. SMS had already owned some shares, and the final purchase gives SMS an 84.46 percent ownership stake.
SMS, owned by Heinrich Weiss and his family, owns companies that make machinery for the steel industry. SMS used to have extensive holdings in plastics machinery manufacturing: Battenfeld injection presses, Battenfeld Gloucester film equipment, and extruders under the brands Battenfeld, American Maplan and Cincinnati Extrusion. SMS sold all those businesses in 2006 and 2007, as Weiss decided to focus heavily on the steel-making equipment.
Weiss said Elexis will be run as independent company. SMS and Elexis have worked together over the years on joint customer projects, he said.
Elexis has two main business unit: Hekuma and EMG Automation GmbH. EMG makes quality control systems and equipment for making steel coils. Under EMG, the company owns BST International GmbH, which makes web-inspection, guiding and control equipment for printing and packaging converting and the production of foil, rubber and non-wovens.
Hekuma is based in Eching, Germany. Its North American operation, Hekuma Automation LLC, is in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Hekuma is known for its high-speed takeout robots and automation systems for medical products such as injection molded petri dishes and pipettes and in-mold labeling systems for injection molding. The company also has targeted the thermoforming market for IML equipment.