UPDATED — Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co. is buying two plants in Denver from Rocky Mountain Colby Pipe Co. that make PVC and ABS plumbing pipe. RMCP is keeping its Pendleton, Ore., factory that makes PVC electrical conduit.
Charlotte Pipe announced July 12 that it will close and fold the two Denver plants into its existing plant in Cedar City, Utah.
Charlotte Pipe did not disclose terms of its acquisition plan, which it expects to finalize by the end of July.
RMCP was for sale since early July 2016. PVC compounder Roscom Inc. of Croydon, Pa., and RMCP share some ownership. Charlotte Pipe is a family-owned company with six plastic pipe extrusion plants in the United States as well as a cast iron pipe foundry in its hometown of Charlotte, N.C.
"We look forward to serving Rocky Mountain's customers as well as our existing customers with the outstanding service to which they have become accustomed from both Rocky Mountain and Charlotte Pipe," noted Charlotte Pipe President Hooper Hardison in a news release.
RMCP had estimated sales of $99 million last year, according to Plastics News data, which will be updated July 24. Charlotte Pipe had estimated plastic pipe sales of $335 million.
After selling the Denver operations, RMCP will focus on supplying the "rapidly expanding PVC electrical conduit business from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pendleton," the company stated in a news release.
"We are experiencing very rapid conduit sales growth because our cellular-core technology delivers superior quality at competitive pricing," said RMCP President Nicholas Lynch in a news release.
RMCP said in April that it planned to invest nearly $10 million in the Pendleton operation, which was closed in February. The project entailed installation of three new extrusion lines, more blending equipment, a new quality control laboratory, and a new, integrated computer system that will allow barcoding on its products and inventory.
The 60-employee Pendleton operation was slated to reopen in September, with expansion done in December. The expanded and upgraded Pendleton operation would be the most automated PVC conduit plant in the United States on reopening, RMCP said this past spring.
RMCP continued to look for a buyer of the whole company while the expansion project was underway. PVC electrical conduit represented 36 percent of RMCP's sales in 2015. RMCP began producing the conduit in 2009 using cellular core technology that cuts pipe weight by 20 percent, improves impact resistance and cold weather performance, and provides lower internal surface friction to make it easier to pull cable through the conduit.
RMCP spent nearly $14 million on Pendleton in 2014 to double PVC extrusion capacity to 57 million pounds per year to keep up with electrical conduit demand. The company now has an estimated 20 extrusion lines in total, according to Plastics News data.
Charlotte Pipe's other plastic pipe plants are in Monroe, N.C.; Cameron, Texas, Wildwood, Fla., Muncy, Pa., and Huntsville, Ala. The firm has been making plastic pipe since 1967 and now manages more than a million square feet of space in the United States. It produces a wide range of standard and specialty plumping products, including ABS, PVC, chlorinated PVC, FlowGuard Gold, ChemDrain, ReUze and RePVC pipe and fittings for residential and commercial systems.
Charlotte Pipe claims to be the largest U.S. producer of drain, waste and vent piping products. Its North Carolina operation includes a 100,000-square-foot plant focused on industrial pipe.
RMCP's main markets are residential and commercial construction, recreational vehicles and factory-manufactured housing. The company was created in 1996 when Rocky Mountain Pipe Co. bought Colby Plastics Converters Inc., making it at that time the biggest ABS pipe extruder in North America.