Injection molders Richardson Molding LLC and Tulip Molded Plastics Corp. have merged to form Tulip Richardson Manufacturing LLC.
The merger was announced March 25. Terms were not disclosed.
The newly formed organization is majority owned by private equity firms Owner Resource Group LLC and Shelton, Conn.-based Saugatuck Capital Co. Owner Resource Group of Austin, Texas, bought Richardson in 2017. Saugatuck Capital acquired Tulip in 2012.
Going forward, TRM will be led by Tulip's Craig Kellogg as CEO and Richardson's Steve Dyer as president and chief operating officer.
"These two companies, which formerly were competitors, share a lot of the same customer base, a lot of the same products, but the difference being Richardson was much more heavily concentrated with industrial business whereas Tulip was more concentrated with automotive," Kellogg said in a March 27 phone interview with Plastics News.
Both companies participate broadly in the lead-acid battery industry, he said.
"We're extremely excited about this opportunity," Dyer said during the call. "We've known each other in the market for many, many years. … I think there was some mutual admiration because we were competitors and we knew how good the other team was."
Tulip molds polypropylene battery components as well as containers, covers, vents, handles and other parts for diverse industries such as automotive, commercial, defense, appliances and sporting goods. The company does custom molding and insert molding, and produces its own engineered resins. It also has a cold form division for manufacturing lead products, including ammunition, wire and battery terminals.
Nearly 100 percent of lead-acid batteries are recycled in the United States. Tulip uses recycled battery plastic chips and the recycled lead to produce battery terminals, Kellogg said.
Richardson primarily makes injection molded thermoplastic parts such as jars and covers for the lead-acid battery market.
"The companies are very similar, and they fit well in the same space," Kellogg said.
The combined operation brings TRM's manufacturing platform to four facilities in Columbus, Ind., which has been the headquarters for Richardson; Philadelphia, Miss.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Milwaukee, with more than 135 injection molding machines ranging from 10-1,100 tons. Richardson's engineering center in Indianapolis will also remain in operation.