Owner Revolution Inc., owned by an employee stock ownership plan, is selling its rotational molding and plastics fabrication operations through two separate deals.
ESOP members will have to approve at least one of the deals.
In the first proposed sale, announced Sept. 25, Pollard Banknote Ltd., a Canadian supplier to lotteries around the world, announced it was buying Schafer Systems Inc. in Adair, Iowa, which makes point-of-purchase displays for lotteries and other markets.
In the second, announced a day later, South Bend, Ind.-based rotomolder Elkhart Plastics Inc. bought the assets of two Owner Revolution subsidiaries in Atlantic, Iowa: Plastics Professionals Inc., a custom molding operation, and Connect-A-Dock Inc. a molder of floating modular docks.
Elkhart Plastics will continue to run both rotomolding businesses out of the Atlantic factory, which has 10 rotomolding machines, and will become Eklhart's sixth factory. Its other plants are in Indiana, Colorado and Washington state.
According to published reports, Plastic Professionals will become Elkhart Plastics of Iowa, and the Connect-A-Dock brand will continue under that same name.
Elkhart CEO and President Jack Welter said in a news release that his company plans to transfer some of its products to the Iowa factory to better serve existing customers.
"We're excited that this acquisition will allow us to increase our U.S. footprint and give EPI greater capacity. We're looking forward to increasing service to current and future customers with an additional manufacturing location," Welter said. He could not be reached for additional comment.
Don Hudak, CEO and president of Owner Revolution, did not return calls for this story. He told the Atlantic News Telegram in Iowa that Elkhart Plastics has "aggressive plans to grow the businesses, bringing new jobs and opportunities to the area." Quoted in the local newspaper, Hudak said the sale "comes with the best interest of the employees and the local communities in mind."
According to the most recent Plastics News rotomolders ranking, Elkhart Plastics has sales of $96.1 million, making it the seventh-largest rotomolder in North America. Elkhart runs 46 rotomolding machines. Plastics Professionals has estimated sales of $20 million in the ranking.
Owner Revolution was founded in 1986 by Chris Schafer. At the time, the company was known as Schafer Systems, and it primarily made lottery ticket dispensers. Later, the company grew into new markets, including floating docks.
Schafer sold the company to the ESOP in 1999, when he decided to retire. The company was renamed Owner Revolution in early 2011, when it completed its goal of becoming 100 percent employee-owned.
Two years ago, Owner Revolution earned an Iowa Job Honor for its efforts to hire people with barriers to employment, such as people with developmental disabilities, past criminal convictions and histories of addiction.
In the other current sell-off, Owner Revolution is selling Schafer Systems to Pollard Banknote of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for $23.5 million. The acquisition is subject to a vote of ESOP members, Pollard said, adding that the firm employs about 50 people.
"Schafer has a long history of profitability," Pollard said. Pollard Banknote is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Pollard family owns 67.6 percent of the company.
According to local newspaper reports, Owner Revolution still owns Blue Wave Ultrasonics, a manufacturer of industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems in Davenport, Iowa. Owner Revolution bought Blue Wave a year ago.