German materials firm Albis Plastic GmbH has bought out a U.S. joint venture partner and moved its North American headquarters from Texas to South Carolina.
In October, Hamburg-based Albis became sole owner of Albis Barnet Polymers LLC, a JV that it had formed in 2016 with resin and fiber supplier William Barnet & Son LLC of Spartanburg, S.C. Albis in September opened a compounding plant in Duncan, S.C.
The Albis acquisition of the JV also includes a recycling center that Barnet had opereated in Duncan. That unit — with 70 million pounds of annual capacity — recycles post-industrial nylon and polyester fiber into pellets, officials said.
The compounding plant originally was to be operated by the JV, in which Albis had been majority partner. The Duncan plant now makes prime engineering compounds of Albis' Altech and Alcom brands. Those compounds are based on a wide vaiety of resins, inclusing nylon, polyester, polycarbonate and polypropylene, officials added.
As a result of the buyout, Albis also moved its North American HQ from Sugar Land, Texas, to Duncan, officials said in a Jan. 31 news release. In addition, Stefan Fuhlendorf has been promoted to president and CEO of Albis Plastics Corp., the firm's North American unit.
In a telephone interview, Fuhlendorf said Albis will continue to operate a sales office in Sugar Land. He added that Albis now employs around 110 in North America, but plans to add 20 jobs this year in both sales and production.
The $14 million Duncan plant employs about 60 and has around 30 million pounds of annual production capacity. Officials previously said the Duncan location has good access to regional automakers. Fuhlendorf said the plant will sell into other end markets as well, such as electrical/electronic and power tools.
He said Albis has been active in North America for 50 years.
Albis employs 1,200 worldwide and posted sales of around $1.1 billion in 2016. In addition to the new U.S. plant, Albis has production sites in Germany, the United Kingdom and China.