Compounder RTP Co. has its sights set on bigger and better things.
The Winona, Minn.-based firm surprised many in the materials industry in December when it bought most of the assets of toll compounder Alloy Polymers of Richmond, Va. Alloy's commodity resins business model was quite different than RTP's traditional focus on engineering resins.
RTP followed up the Alloy deal in August with another non-traditional purchase: Polymer Partners LLC, a maker of black compounds and concentrates in Henderson, Ky. After both the Alloy and Polymer Partners deals, RTP President and CEO Hugh Miller said in a news release that the acquisitions help his firm “provide a wider range of compounding solutions.”
And it sounds like RTP wants to make more moves in that direction.
“We want to grow beyond what the market offers,” Europe managing director Jean Sirois said at the recent Fakuma 2015 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. “We want above-average market growth.”
“As much as engineering resins and compounding are our core businesses, we were lacking exposure to the broader resin market in commodities like polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene,” he added. “We found businesses that were available for larger volume growth. [Acquiring Alloy] puts us in a different light with other resin producers. We couldn't be there before.”
RTP actually had bought one Alloy plant — in Gahanna, Ohio — a few months before acquiring the rest of the firm. Adding Alloy's annual production capacity — more than 500 million pounds combined at the Gahanna plant, a plant in Richmond and plants in Crockett and Orange, Texas — will allow RTP to do proprietary polyolefin compounding, as well as tolling. The addition of Polymer Partners — which did work in polyolefins and styrenics — extends RTP's market reach into extrusion grades.
As a private company, RTP has some advantages in pursuing a long-term strategy, according to Sirois. “Private companies have the luxury of looking long-term,” he said. “It's not a one-year plan.”
RTP now is looking to make more acquisitions, either in commodities or other areas. “We want to be a real factor in the plastic industry at large, not just in engineering resins,” Sirois said.
RTP ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm operates 17 plants worldwide, making compounds based on 60 different engineering resins.