Two executives with compounder Chroma Corp. have purchased the firm from the Swain family and other investors.
The two executives are President and CEO Tom Bolger — who's been with McHenry, Ill.-based Chroma since 2005 — and chairman of the board Chuck Heller, son of the late Pete Heller, who was one of the firm's first investors in 1967.
They're buying Chroma from Robert Swain and several of his family members, along with a few other investors. Swain is a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame who had been serving as chairman, but was less directly involved with the firm in recent years.
“This was something I'd always wanted to do,” Bolger said in a Dec. 15 phone interview. “Bob [Swain] had decided he'd held on long enough, and he wanted to pass the torch when the company was in good shape.
“We came out of the recession in good shape and have continued to do well, so [Swain] decided it was a good time to move on,” Bolger added.
Bolger also credited Pete Heller with providing valuable guidance to Chroma over the years. Heller and Herb Wanderer were the firm's original investors, along with Swain. Stu Swain — Robert's son — will remain with Chroma as vice president of technology.
Chroma makes color compounds as well as color and additive concentrates using a variety of commodity and engineering resins. Packaging is the firm's largest end market, but Bolger said that in recent years it has done more work in durables, automotive and medical.
Chroma employs 115 in two facilities covering a total of 150,000 square feet. The privately held firm doesn't release sales totals.
Bolger is in his second stint with Chroma. He first worked for the firm as a salesman from 1983-88, joining fresh out of college.
“Chroma is going to stay Chroma,” Bolger said of the purchase. “It's not going to be sold to someone else, and everyone will keep their jobs. We're going to keep the values that Bob [Swain] and Pete [Heller] instilled in 1967 — of putting service and quality first.”