Private equity firm buys Custom Profile
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — Extruder Custom Profile Inc. has been purchased by a private equity group that is making the Grand Rapids-based company the first in its new investment fund.
Blackford Capital LLC, also based in Grand Rapids, announced the acquisition Aug. 21. It did not disclose financial terms.
Custom Profile, with manufacturing in Grand Rapids and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, also has in-house tooling and assembly. The company, which mainly extrudes profiles for the office furniture and appliance industries, reported 2011 sales of $21.7 million. It employs 165 and claims year-over-year growth in sales and earnings for 18 of its 20 years in operation.
CEO and President Sam Nicholas, who also founded the firm, will remain with Custom Profile in those executive roles, working with a board of directors from Blackford. The existing management team will also remain in place.
Custom Profile is the first company in Blackford's Michigan Equity Investment Fund, which is focused on investments within the state of Michigan. Blackford has investments through other funds specializing in midsize manufacturing, distribution and service companies.
Mercantile Bank of Michigan and Convergent Capital Partners LLC assisted in financing the purchase. Stout Risius Ross Advisors LLC was an adviser in the sale.
Pactiv shutters Wis. PS foam operation
LAKE FOREST, ILL. — Pactiv Corp. is closing a polystyrene foam manufacturing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Pactiv will phase out operations at the plant by January, and will relocate equipment and products to other Pactiv facilities, according to an Aug. 21 news release.
The closing will affect about 170 workers.
In the release, Pactiv said the closure is part of an effort to “betters serve customers through consolidated and streamlined operations.” A Pactiv spokeswoman declined further comment.
Packaging powerhouse Pactiv, based in Lake Forest, is North America's largest thermoformer with estimated sales of $3.2 billion, according to the most recent Plastics News ranking. The firm is owned by Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. of Auckland, New Zealand, part of Rank Group Ltd.
Chroma adds twin-screw for small lots
MCHENRY, ILL. — Growth continues at compounder Chroma Corp., which recently added a new twin-screw extrusion line.
The new line joins six others that were added last year at McHenry-based Chroma. The firm now operates 25 lines in total. President and CEO Tom Bolger said the new lines give Chroma the opportunity to expand the small-order segment of its business and allow it to continue to offer just-in-time shipments of small-lot color concentrates.
Sales and marketing director Stu Swain added that Chroma's engineering resin business has been growing faster than other resin types for the last four years. In particular, sales of materials based on polycarbonate, polyethersulfone, nylon and polyester each have grown at rates of 20 percent per year.
Chroma also completed a lab expansion last year that added new extruders and six injection presses to its color lab.
Chroma employs about 115 and operates two facilities covering a total of 150,000 square feet.
Blow molder Alpla to expand in Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Alpla Inc. is planning a $2 million expansion at its Jefferson City plant.
The expansion will create 25 new positions and allow the company to retain its current employees, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
In 2005, Alpla invested about $20 million in a 58,000-square-foot blow molding facility in Jefferson City. By 2011, the plant had more than doubled in size, growing to 135,000 square feet and going from 40 to 64 employees, according to information from the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.
The plant blow molds personal-care containers for consumer goods giant Unilever. A DED spokesman said the $2 million will be used for a new production line. To assist with the expansion, Missouri awarded Alpla an economic incentive packaging that includes $124,711 in tax credits over five years.
Alpla, based in McDonough, Ga., had 2010 North American blow molding sales of $822.7 million. It is a unit of Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG of Hard, Austria.