Plastics Extrusion Machinery LLC, a McPherson, Kan.-based manufacturer of downstream extrusion equipment, is expanding its PVC product capabilities with the acquisition of Advance Equipment Co.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Tumwater, Wash.-based Advance Equipment also makes downstream extrusion equipment for the PVC plastics, profile and siding industries, but specializes in small-diameter PVC pipe, among other products, whereas PEM specializes in larger diameters.
“AEC's specialty is in the smaller diameter sizes for PVC, and PEM has historically done some of the larger diameter hydrotesters, and so essentially what this does is it solidifies our small-diameter business in total,” PEM CEO Nathan Spearman said in a May 22 phone interview. “And so, together, we were far better and stronger than we would've been if either one had been apart. It just made complete strategic sense to put the companies together.”
Spearman, who purchased PEM in December 2017 from founder Hal Wright, said Advance Equipment's “sweet spot” is from 1 inch up to 12 inches in diameter. PEM typically starts at 8 inches and offers up to 60 inches for PVC pipe.
“We can do the smaller diameter as well, but their technology is a little different and we were able to really increase some of our technological offerings for both companies,” he explained.
Both companies have been up and running since 1978. Advance Equipment, which currently employs 12, will continue to operate out of its 32,000-square-foot facility in Tumwater. Spearman said there will not be “any significant changes” to the business.
Richard Hoverter, former CEO of Advance Equipment, said in a May 22 news release that the decision to sell “wasn't an easy one.”
“I have been approached with several offers from many interested companies,” Hoverter, son of company founder Richard Sr. said in a statement. “I wanted to make sure I was selling it to the right person (company), and I believe I have.”
Hoverter has assumed the role of director of innovation at PEM, where he will focus on product development and improving the business from a technology standpoint across the board, Spearman said.
“He's going to focus on innovating our products, so we can be competitive into the 21st century,” he added.
PEM employs about 24 at its 60,000-square-foot facility in McPherson.
“I think we will definitely be doing some additional hiring. I think the PVC market is strong, and we certainly are seeing that from an inquiry basis and some of the quotes that we've been seeing,” Spearman said. “I'm pretty excited about the future.”
The acquisition beefs up PEM's overall product line, which includes both vacuum and cooling tanks, pipe pullers, siding and profile pullers, saws, belling equipment and hydrotesters, among other downstream equipment. The company said its equipment can also be custom designed to meet customer specifications.