Updated Feb. 13: French auto parts supplier Novares Group SA has strengthened its footprint in the United States with the acquisition of Miniature Precision Components Inc.
Based in Walworth, Wis., MPC is a major automotive plastics supplier of injection and blow molded under-the-hood parts and assemblies for vehicle powertrains.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MPC was sold by four members of the Brost family who each held a 25 percent stake in the privately-owned company, Novares CEO Pierre Boulet said in a phone interview with Plastics News. Founder Jay Brost started MPC in his garage in 1972. Brost's sons, Jim and Dan, previously held positions at the company.
Going forward, MPC will operate as a business unit under the Novares name. MPC Chief Operating Officer Vadim Yakubov will transition to vice president of the business unit.
Novares announced the acquisition Feb. 12, saying it will double the size of the French company's powertrain business and extend its supply to “all main OEMs” globally.
“We'll have a better-balanced sales profile with 45 percent in Europe and 40 percent in the U.S.,” Boulet said of the acquisition.
The move is a key step in Novares' strategic goal to achieve sales of 2 billion euros ($2.25 billion) by 2020. The global supplier, which has a presence in 22 countries, generated sales of 1.1 billion euros ($1.24 billion) in 2018. MPC, with annual sales of $265 million, will increase Novares' sales to 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) a year. The bulk of those sales are in injection molding with some blow molding and extrusion.
Novares has moved full-speed ahead with its global expansion strategy. Most recently, the company acquired all of the outstanding shares in its former joint venture company in Wuhan, China. Novares is also under negotiation to purchase the remaining shares of a second Chinese joint venture with Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd.
Last year, Novares launched its first production plant in Morocco, following the opening of facilities in Mexico and Romania.
“In seven years, we have built 10 plants and we have expanded the capacity of 19 plants,” Boulet said of the company's global strategy, which has included shifting some production from high-cost countries to low-cost ones.
Novares is “nearly at the end” of the strategy, however, with just two plants left to finalize this year, Boulet said.
“We are not planning to launch any new plants going forward,” he added. “That means our footprint is nearly finalized today and the heavy investment is behind us.”
As for MPC, Boulet said the U.S. manufacturer shares the same “metal-to-plastic DNA” with Novares and will reinforce the French supplier's value-added product portfolio. Novares previously went by the name Mecaplast-Key Plastics.
MPC manufactures automotive components that are used in complex, system-critical powertrain and under-the-hood applications such as engine and transmission sealing, air and fluid management and emissions control. Some of its key customers include Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, General Motors Co. and major Tier 1 suppliers.
“They have been very successful with Ford and GM, but they were only a regional player,” Boulet said. “They could not provide [the automakers] with global production facilities, so they were limited to regional deals.”
Boulet said the two companies were a good fit, as MPC was looking to expand its international footprint and Novares was “looking for something more American.”
MPC has production sites in Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mexico, plus a warehouse in Arizona. It also has two additional sales and engineering sites: one in Southfield, Mich., and the other in Nagoya, Japan.
In addition to clients and footprint, the acquisition will give Novares access to MPC's production technology, including its 3D suction blow molding and molded foam capabilities.
MPC was named PN's 2004 Processor of the Year and ranked No. 33 in the most recent listing of North American injection molders. The company employs 1,600.