Thermoform Engineered Quality LLC has stretched its geographic reach into Europe with the acquisition of Plastique Group Ltd.
TEQ announced Feb. 1 it bought Plastique of Tunbridge Wells, England, a $35-million-per-year plastic sheet thermoformer that also has wood pulp molding capability, which provides a new in-house material option for packaging customers.
“We have multiple customers in the United States who prefer we have manufacturing closer to Europe,” said TEQ President Randy Loga in a telephone interview. The deal also helps Plastique Group supply its customer base with operations in the United States, he added.
Plastique Group was directly acquired by Esco Technologies Inc., the St. Louis parent company of TEQ. Plastique Group is being combined with TEQ. Its primary markets of packaging for pharmaceuticals, personal care and specialties mesh well with TEQ's diverse customer base. Most of TEQ's sales are packaging for food, medical, personal care and other sectors but it also has a sizable industrial thermoforming business. Plastique Group will especially boost TEQ's sales for medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.
“Plastique Group is a well known thermoformer in the United Kingdom,” Loga said.
Plastique Group's revenues will push TEQ's annual sales close to $100 million and its staff count to about 400, Loga estimated. Plastique Group's manufacturing plants are in Nottingham, England, and Poznan, Poland. TEQ, headquartered in Huntley, Ill., has two manufacturing locations there and one in Fremont, Ind. It bought the latter operation last November in a deal that lifted its sales in medical packaging.
In total, TEQ now has more than 30 thermoforming lines, 17 of which are in the United States. It operates Class 100,000 and 10,000 clean rooms and Loga claims it has the largest installation of Kiefel in-line thermoformers in the United States.
TEQ notes the addition of pulp molding allows the company to offer a wider range of sustainable packaging. Customers can choose between thermoformed plastic and molded pulp, or a hybrid of both. Plastique Group can make high quality, precise packaging that is a step above most molded pulp packaging, according to TEQ. Loga said TEQ could bring the molded pulp option to U.S. production but he did not elaborate on that strategy.