MILAN, ITALY (May 15, 12:30 p.m. ET) — Italian molder and compounder Finproject SpA is making new investments at facilities in India and Mexico as part of its international expansion strategy.
The company produces more than 30,000 metric tons per year of vinyl and polyolefin compounds for various sectors, but it is most closely associated with footwear, in particular Crocs EVA foam clogs. Finproject's molding division also makes soles, sandals and boots with polyolefin compounds bearing its own brand name XL Extralight for customers such as Hugo Boss and Samsonite.
Ascoli Piceno, Italy-based Finproject is currently investing a total of 8 million euros ($10.2 million) in India and Mexico, said Maurizio Vecchiola, board member and part of the Vecchiola family that founded Finproject in 1964.
The company expects a new molding and compounds plant in Rajasthan, India, to be completed in September, said Vecchiola, speaking to European Plastics News at the Plast 2012 fair in Milan. The new 86,000 square foot facility will take over production from a site it currently rents in Rajasthan.
The company also is investing in new technology and machinery at a facility in Mexico which belongs to Foam Creations, part of the Finproject group, based in Quebec. The facility started operations in 2010, making soles and polyolefin compounds.
Vecchiola said Finproject is now considering an acquisition in Italy. Although he could not give details for confidentiality reasons, he said that if completed the acquisition would increase Finproject's annual sales about 49 percent to 110 million euros ($140 million).
He said Finproject invests in various regions to gain advantages in buying materials and in manufacturing products locally.
“Thanks to investments worldwide, we can offer prices in the local currency and deliver our products on time,” he said.
The strategy proved fruitful in its relationship with Niwot, Colo.-based Crocs Inc., which started when Finproject formed Foam Creations in 1996 as a result of a deal with Evasol Plastics. The Crocs lightweight clogs were developed by Foam Creations and launched by Crocs in 2001. Crocs bought Foam Creations in 2004 and then sold it back to Finproject in 2008.
The Finproject group now operates eight facilities around the world: three in Italy and one each in Romania, Canada, Mexico, India and China.
At Plast, Finproject showed its new biodegradable compounds: BioLevirex for use in polyolefins, and BioFinpro for use in PVC.