Automotive supplier Lacks Enterprises Inc. has acquired a Kansas firm that makes carbon fiber composite wheels, in a bid to expand into luxury car wheel markets and build a footprint in an emerging technology area.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Lacks said in an Oct. 15 announcement that the acquisition of Emergent Carbon Wheels, of Kansas City, Kan., will give it access to Emergent's design, manufacturing expertise and intellectual property. The company makes carbon fiber barrels for high-performance car wheels.
"The Emergent acquisition allows Lacks to initially pursue new luxury and exotic sports car opportunities in North America, as well as globally," said Lacks President Nick Hrnyak. "It also enables us to continue building our technological and manufacturing competencies while expanding our wheel business opportunities into new segmentation pursuits."
Emergent will be integrated into Lacks' existing wheel division and Emergent's founder Colin Snyder will become technology director, carbon fiber composites, for Lacks.
"We look forward to building upon our success in the automotive aftermarket and applying our technologies in the original equipment market," Synder said. "Emergent's unique carbon fiber composite wheel technologies, along with Lacks' market access and manufacturing expertise, will allow us to make a meaningful impact in the emerging carbon fiber composite wheel market."
According to its website, Snyder founded both Emergent and Eve Wheels LLC to focus on commercializing carbon fiber wheel technology, after first developing the technology as an engineering student at the University of Kansas in 2008.
Emergent said on its website it secured private investor funding in 2016 to set up a research and development and manufacturing facility in Kansas City. The Kansas City Business Journal said it has about 10 employees.
Lacks, with an estimated $500 million in injection molding sales, is the 13th largest injection molding company in the United States, according to Plastics News' 2018 ranking, with 2,700 injection molding employees in five facilities.