LEWISTON, MINN. (Oct. 21, 1:40 p.m. ET) — Molder and mold maker PlastiCert Inc. is looking at expansions and bringing in new capabilities as it moves forward under new owner Craig Porter.
Porter, who previously served as operations manager and general manager of PlastiCert, finished a management buyout of the company based in Lewiston, Minn., in September. The purchase completes a journey for the 30-year-old firm in which it was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005 and emerged in 2008, only to be faced with a slowing economy.
“Our customers were very understanding of our situation, and our organic growth has been phenomenal, but for five years we haven't really been able to go out and develop new sales,” Porter said in an Oct. 20 telephone interview. “Now we'll be looking to expand into some other pieces of the pie and get more into prototyping.”
Porter joined PlastiCert in 2004. The company specializes in injection mold tooling and molding for high-tolerance parts and engineered plastics. It also has overmolding and insert molding. Its customers range across multiple industries, including industrial controls. It currently has 25 employees.
In 2005, the company filed for protection under Chapter 11 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Harrisburg, Pa., to settle issues related to civil lawsuits. After court-supported mediation, the company emerged, still under the control of owner Dawn Savkovic, a second-generation owner of the firm.
Porter did not disclose terms of the sale.
PlastiCert's wide customer base helped it survive the recession and begin growing again once conditions improved, he said. The company consolidated operations in Minnesota, closing its original manufacturing site in Stewartstown, Pa., and saw its sales improve more than 30 percent from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011.
“The past decade has been a test for PlastiCert, as it has been for many U.S. manufacturing companies,” Porter said. “We feel we passed that test with flying colors.”