While nine years went by between Mocap Inc.'s last acquisition and now the company's newest deal, but don't expect another nine to go by before the next one.
The Park Hills, Mo.-based company has an appetite to grow and sees deal-making as a way to do just that.
Mocap's acquisition of William Beckett Plastics Ltd., of Sheffield, England, is only expected to be the first of more to come, says co-owner Greg Miller.
“Over the past couple of years, we decided how we wanted to grow Mocap, and it's through acquisitions,” Miller said. “We're targeting companies probably between that $5 million and $50 million range.”
Beckett not only complements, but also expands Mocap's Cleartec Packaging subsidiary. Both operations make plastic packaging tubes. Beckett, with about $8 million in annual sales, has focused almost exclusively on the cutting tools market, while Cleartec has had a much broader approach.
“Cleartec, it really covers a wide variety of packaging. It could be anything in retail from bearings to beads to medical products to food products,” Miller said.
Plans are to keep Beckett production in Sheffield, but move operations to a larger facility due to space constraints at the current site.
Mocap also plans to start manufacturing Beckett's line of products both in the United States and China in the future. Beckett, which has a sales and distribution office in Chicago, typically shipped several containers of product to the United States each month, Miller said.
“It would be much more efficient if we start up production over here,” he said.
Mocap is closing that site and will shift those operations to Missouri, where it has facilities in Park Hills and Farmington. Other company sites are in Zhongshan, China, and Telford, England.
Adding production in the United States and in China is not designed to replace what's already taking place in England, Miller said.
Mocap wants to expand the company's sales through the increased production while also maintaining or even expanding operations in Sheffield.
With complementary lines, Miller sees Cleartec and the Beckett business both benefiting by being able to offer more products to existing customers.
The company currently employs about 80 people in Sheffield. “I'm hoping it's going to increase, if anything. We're going to expand production, lower lead times and add that Mocap philosophy of hitting different areas of application [outside of the current cutting tools emphasis],” Miller said.
While the vision is to expand Beckett's current customer roster beyond packaging for cutting tool makers, Cleartec also will benefit.
“We thought it would be a great addition to our Cleartec line. It's something we don't have. It's something none of our competitors have,” Miller said. “And on the Beckett side of things, his competitors, they don't have anything like Cleartec and Mocap type products.”
Mocap is owned by Greg Miller as well as his father, Joseph Miller, and brother, Paul Miller. Mocap's product line includes caps, plugs, grips and tapes, and the company does dip molding, injection molding and extrusion.
“My brother and I want to grow faster, so we think that's the way to do it. So we're dabbling in acquisitions. See what else is out there,” Greg Miller said. “We're trying to get more active now.”
“We're very actively talking to banks and private equity firms, and have been for the last year. So we're prepping for some other deals as we speak,” he said.