Auto exterior parts molder Plasman Group has entered the European market by acquiring Sweden-based auto molder Plastal Industri AB.
Plasman, based in Windsor, Ontario, runs 10 manufacturing plants in North America. Plastal's four production plants are in Gothenburg and Simrishamn, Sweden; Raufoss, Norway; and Ghent, Belgium.
Gothenburg-based Plastal specializes in thermoplastic bumper modules, painted and unpainted exterior trim and other plastic parts for passenger vehicles and heavy trucks. Complex bumper systems, spoilers and sill covers are examples of its custom molding.
The acquisition is Plasman's second in a year. In spring of 2015 it bought Thermotech Inc., including factories in Hopkins, Minn., and in Juárez, Querétaro and Monterrey, Mexico.
“Adding Plastal to our portfolio gives the Plasman Group a strategic footprint in the growing European auto market,” noted Plasman Group CEO David Wiskel in a news release. The deal also gives Plasman new products and customers.
Terms of the acquisition were not divulged in a May 26 news release from Plasman Group. Plasman officials declined to elaborate on the deal and officials at Plasman's owner, Insight Equity Holdings LLC of Southlake, Texas, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Plastal filed for bankruptcy in early 2009 amid a slump in the global auto industry and financial markets. Svenska Handelsbanken AB was a major shareholder and has sold its stake in Plastal to Plasman, reporting that it recovered all its claims that were outstanding when Plastal Group went bankrupt.
At the time of bankruptcy Plastal Holding AB had annual sales of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion at 2009 exchange rate) and 30 production facilities employing 6,000 in Europe and China. Parts were sold off and the surviving business had shrunk to a four-factory operation employing about 750 with sales of about 1.5 billion Swedish krona. Its technologies include injection molding with clamps up to 4,000 tons and a robotic paint line, Major customers were Volvo, Scania and Saab. Plastal was founded in 1961.
Plasman has four divisions in North America employing more than 2,800. A.P. Plasman runs three plants in Windsor, one in Tilbury, Ontario, and another in Fort Payne, Ala. The Build-A-Mold division shares one of the Windsor facilities. A-Brite Plating has a plant in Cleveland. Thermotech is the firm's other division. In early May Plasman announced expansion at the Queretaro facility involving Thermotech's molding and assembly operations and A.P. Plasman's paint, molding and assembly operations. Earlier in spring of this year, Plasman said it completed an expansion at one of its Windsor plants.
Plasman runs injection presses with clamps of 85 to 3,000 tons in North America. Automated paint systems, tool building and ultrasonic welding and assembly are other services it offers.
“This footprint in Europe provides the Plasman Group with a broad base from which to offer turnkey solutions for large exterior plastic components whether painted, chrome-plated, or both, to international and North American OEM customers,” remarked Insight Equity partner Eliot Kerlin in a news release.