Petlon Polymers Ltd. has acquired a number of product brands, manufacturing assets and customer lists from Teknor Apex Co., the compounder whose Oldbury, England, factory was hit by a major fire in April.
Teknor Apex had contracted with Petlon on a toll basis to offer production support in Europe since the fire.
The acquisition, financial terms of which were not disclosed, would see those products remain in production at Petlon's Lydney, England, plant and under its ownership, the company said.
The companies said the deal includes Teknor Apex's Beetle-brand engineering thermoplastics, which are based on nylon. In an Aug. 4 news release, officials with Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor Apex said the assets being sold represent only “a small portion” of the firm's nylon business. They added that Teknor Apex now will supply European customers with nylon materials made at plants in the United States and Singapore, but that it eventually will re-establish production of those materials at a European site.
“We determined that we could not serve some [engineering thermoplastic] accounts at a level of service that their business required,” President William Murray said in the release. “Long-term, our plan is to manufacture styrenic thermoplastic elastomers and Chemlon-brand nylon in our own facility in Europe.”
The Oldbury plant compounded engineering thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomers.
Teknor will continue to make thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) compounds at a plant in Genk, Belgium, and will distribute TPE compounds from there as well. The accounts that Teknor is relinquishing to Petlon “represent a small portion of [Teknor's] worldwide nylon business,” Murray added. Those accounts also include some engineering grade PET business.
As part of the deal nine Teknor Apex staff — around a quarter of those employed at the Oldbury facility — would transfer to Petlon.
Among those making the move are Mark Clayton, UK director of Teknor Apex, who becomes Petlon's managing director, while Steve Dunn, formerly Teknor Apex's European sales and marketing director of the engineering thermoplastics (ETP) division, will become its sales director.
Gavin Rees, Petlon Polymers' former managing director, is stepping down but will remain in a technical director role, the firm said.
Speaking to PRW, Clayton — who had been with Teknor Apex for eight years — said the deal was a satisfactory one for staff and customers after such a difficult time for the business.
“The fire at Oldbury was a devastating blow, and the company took the decision not to re-build the plant,” he said.
“We'd had talks with Petlon Polymers, which had been making certain products for Teknor Apex since the fire, and the decision was made to do this deal. We're pleased with the way things have turned out.”
Clayton said his new employers would be undertaking some “substantial investment”, increasing nameplate capacity at the firm's Lydney plant to a level beyond 44 million pounds a year, from current levels of between 22 million and 28 million pounds.
“We expect to become the largest independent ETP producer in the U.K.,” he added.
A number of new jobs would also be created following the investment, he said.
Teknor ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. It operates 13 plants worldwide and has annual sales of more than $600 million.