Plastics industry entrepreneur Dennis Savalia scored his largest acquisition Nov. 2, buying Performance Engineered Products Inc. in Pomona, Calif.
PEP becomes Savalia's sixth purchase of a plastics processing business in three southern California counties in the past 20 months.
"I keep in touch with people. Relationships are very important," Savalia said about his purchasing practices. "People know me and approach me. It helps me to grow my own business and deal with customers as well."
Savalia acquired PEP from the estate of Carl Joseph Dispenziere Sr. Terms were not disclosed. Dispenziere founded PEP in Los Angeles in 1979 and moved the business to Pomona in 1981. He died in 2011 at the age of 77.
Savalia intends to consolidate his five smaller businesses within PEP's leased 50,000-square-foot facility during the next six months.
"We have an option on additional space" adjacent to the existing Pomona quarters, he said.
Savalia has assumed the duties of CEO and president at PEP.
PEP's previous CEO, Kevin Rafferty, has committed to help for a few months during the transition and remain available as a consultant, as needed.
Rafferty, a business transition and turn-around specialist, joined PEP in January 2013 as CEO, and says he returned the plastics business to profitability within four months of his arrival.
PEP operates 30 injection molding machines — 13 Toyo, 10 Selex, four Arburg, two vertical Engel and one Cincinnati — with a clamping force ranging from 28-390 tons.
Savalia operates a total of 24 presses of 60-825 tons at his other California sites, Honor Plastics and Molding Inc. in Ontario and Kowalski Molding Service Inc. in Riverside.
"My goals are to reach $12 million in 2019 and $15 [million] to $18 million in a couple of years," Savalia said in a telephone interview.
PEP recorded sales of about $6 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2018. Savalia projects 2018 sales of about $4.5 million for the five other businesses.
PEP employs 32, with primary end markets in the of automotive, electrical/electronics, appliances and consumer products, aerospace and non-invasive medical industries .
Savalia's investments are located in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
In 2017, Savalia acquired Honor Plastics from James and Susan Prior and Pearce Plastics Inc. in Pasadena from the estate of Woodrow Wilson Pearce in March; Precision Plastic Concepts Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga from the estate of Frederick Fitzgerald in July and Kowalski Molding Service Inc. and its machine shop from Stanley Kowalski in November. Savalia had operated the Kowalski facility on a rental basis for two months.
In March 2018, he added Target Molds Inc. of Baldwin Park, which does business as Target Molds & Plastics, from Frank and Antoinette Grower.
Savalia has consolidated and absorbed the Pearce, Precision Plastic and Target operations at Honor's 22,000-square-foot facility in Ontario, and each of those identities will come under the PEP banner. The Honor and Kowalski business names are also being phased out.
Previously, Pearce had occupied 30,000 square feet, Precision Plastic 10,000 square feet and Target 12,000 square feet. The Kowalski operation continues temporarily in its own facility pending its relocation to Pomona.
Now, Savalia's operations employ a total of 60 including two mold makers at Honor Plastics and one at Kowalski Molding.
Previously in Southern California, Savalia, 54, held positions as general manager and vice president of Hi-Rel Plastics & Molding Inc. in Riverside and vice president at Tri-Star Plastics and Molding Inc. in Anaheim.