Polymershapes LLC has acquired Patriot Plastics Inc., a distributor of plastic rods, tubes and sheeting in Woburn, Mass.
Terms of the deal, announced March 4, were not disclosed.
“I've known and admired the Patriot Plastics business and their owner, Jim Ferraro, for many years and am delighted they are now part of the Polymershapes family,” Kevin Short, president and CEO of Polymershapes, said in a statement. “Their reputation for top-notch customer service and ease of doing business, coupled with deep product and application knowledge, makes them a perfect fit with our organization.”
Patriot Plastics, founded by Ferraro on Patriots' Day in 1976, supplies to end markets such as medical, aerospace, semiconductor and electrical. The company distributes a similar product portfolio as Polymershapes with a focus on engineering thermoplastics, according to Polymershapes Northeast Region Director Rick Gough.
“The acquisition of Patriot Plastics is additive to Polymershapes' customer base and strengthens our position for engineering thermoplastics in key markets,” Gough said March 6 in emailed responses to Plastics News.
Patriot Plastics will continue to operate out of its roughly 10,000-square-foot facility in Woburn as a division of Polymershapes. Derek Gagnon, general manager of Polymershapes Massachusetts, will oversee day-to-day operations.
Ferraro, who is retiring, will assist the business during the transition.
Polymershapes, based in Charlotte, N.C., is a major distributor of plastic rods, sheets, tubes, film and related products. The company employs more than 700 people and operates more than 70 stocking facilities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Services include cut-to-size sheets, film conversion, and CNC routing and machining.
The acquisition of Patriot Plastics is the first for Polymershapes as an independent company in North America, following a 2018 share acquisition from a joint venture in Chile, the company said. Polymershapes was a partial owner in the joint venture, Polymershapes Chile SA, which now operates as Polymerland. Polymershapes Chile was part of Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
In 2016, Polymershapes was sold to private investment firm Blackfriars Corp. in Northbrook, Ill. Blackfriars also owns Laird Plastics Inc., which is part of the firm's North American Plastics group. Prior to its sale to Blackfriars, Polymershapes was owned by Sabic and operated as Sabic Polymershapes.
Sabic Polymershapes was the former GE Polymershapes business, dating back to GE Plastics' 2001 purchases of Commercial Plastics & Supply Corp. and Cadillac Plastics. In 2007, Sabic bought the entire GE Plastics business from General Electric Co.
“I think this is going to be a continuing story of small acquisitions by Blackfriars through either Polymershapes or through Laird Plastics,” Mel Ettenson, editor of Global Plastics Letter, said in a March 6 phone interview.
Global Plastics Letter covers the shapes distribution market. In 2016, Ettenson ranked Laird Plastics as the top company in the shapes distribution sector, with estimated sales of $550 million. Polymershapes was No. 2, with estimated sales of $525 million. Patriot Plastics represents about 1 percent of Polymershapes' annual sales, he said.
“It's a small deal,” Ettenson said.
The transaction is part of a continuing trend in the shapes distribution market, where privately held companies with annual sales between $5 million and $10 million are acquired by larger firms — in this case, most likely Blackfriars, which “controls a big portion of the shapes market globally,” he said.
“As these small acquisitions continue to develop, who is going to be doing the buying for Blackfriars?” he added. “Is it going to be under Polymershapes, or is it going to be under North American Plastics?”