Michigan custom injection molder Wright Plastic Products Co. LLC has acquired Tennessee-based automotive supplier Hope Industries Inc., the companies announced.
Wright Plastics, headquartered in Sheridan with a second facility in St. Clair, was looking to add capacity in the Southeast, company president Bob Luce told Plastics News.
“We see the automotive business growing and increasing in the South, and see that some of the support industries aren't as numerous and strong down there so we wanted to expand into the South,” Luce said in a phone interview. “… We thought [Hope Industries was] a good fit, added a couple of major Tier 1 customers and we thought we brought some extra capabilities to the party.”
BlueWater Partners LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based investment banking and consulting firm, advised Wright on the deal. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Hope will retain its name.
John Houvenagle, president of Hope Industries, said the time was right for him to sell.
“I'm 69 years old; it was time to pass it on,” he told Plastics News. “I think Wright brings financial strength to the equation. They also have a lot of experience in the automotive field.”
Houvenagle will remain at the company for two years, he said, after which Mike Spence, currently operations manager, will take the lead.
Hope Industries, similar in size to Wright's St. Clair facility, operates 17 presses ranging from 30 tons to 440 tons of clamping force, Houvenagle said. In total, Wright's machines will number “in the high 50s,” Luce said, with up to 950 tons of clamping force.
Hope Industries has yearly sales of about $5 million, according to Plastics News data. Luce anticipates total sales of about $30 million for 2015 for the combined companies.