Nylon 6 specialist Domo Chemicals of Leuna, Germany, acquired resin compounder and formulator Technical Polymers LLC of Buford, Ga., on June 30. Terms were withheld.
The move to establish a significant U.S. foothold represents Domo's second major 2015 initiative. In May, Domo said it plans to invest in a state-of-the-art nylon compounding plant at the company's Jiaxing site in Zhejiang province, China.
Domo Chemicals has a significant customer base with the major German car manufacturers and, through Technical Polymers, gains a way to more directly supply its materials to the growing number of German transplant auto factories in the U.S. southeast.
Technical Polymers develops, produces and markets high-performance engineering polymers and specialized elastomers. U.S. automakers such as Chrysler, General Motors and Ford account for 60 to 70 percent of Technical Polymers' annual sales of about $35 million, Ron Kay, chairman and CEO, said in an interview.
Oil and gas is Technical Polymers' fastest growing segment, Kay said. “We are working on some substantial oil and gas opportunities.”
Niche markets include agriculture, electrical-electronics and sporting goods.
Several engineering plastics professionals including Kay and President Gary Foote founded Technical Polymers in 1999. Foote said the Technical Polymers team sees “significant synergy benefits” in joining forces with Domo.
Technical Polymers employs about 50, occupies 60,000 square feet in an industrial park with expansion opportunities and operates four twin-screw extruders: three from KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH and one from Entek Manufacturing Inc.
The producer waits until its capacity is sold out before acquiring additional equipment, Kay said. For excess production requirements, Technical Polymers contracts with a compounder of high-performance polymers and nylons in the Southeast and a nylon processor in the Midwest.
In addition to the Domo offer, Technical Polymers received three other unsolicited acquisition inquiries including one seeking a foothold in the U.S. market.
Domo is a “perfect match with what we are doing,” Kay said.
Alex Segers, Domo Chemicals CEO, said in a statement that Foote and Kay “have built a unique business with a diverse portfolio of nylon products and a range of high-performance polymers. This acquisition, integrating a great team of people, perfectly fits into our strategy to grow our innovative capabilities and globally strengthen the business and service level to our customers.”
Apart from Kay and Foote, the Technical Polymers team includes Dennis Eich, vice president of operations. All will remain with Technical Polymers under Domo's ownership. “Domo bought a team and a business,” Kay said.
Previously, Domo Chemical's Domo Engineering Plastics US Inc. unit invested in a small Cartersville, Ga., facility, about 60 miles away from Buford. Jerry Theys is CEO of the Domo US unit.
In addition to the U.S. and China sites, other operations of Domo's nylon and intermediates, engineering plastics and nylon film business units are located in Leuna and Premnitz, Germany; and Arco and Cesano Maderno, Italy.
Domo Chemicals' nylon intermediates include the Phenol, Cyclohexanone and Caprolactam brands. Other products and lines include nylon 6 polymers, engineering plastics, fertilizers, nylon 6 packaging film and petrochemical products distribution.
Domo Chemicals employs about 850, had 2014 sales of about $1 billion and is an operation of Domo Investment Group NV in the village of Zwijnaarde in Ghent, Belgium.