Jabat Inc. has been acquired by Mac Plastics Manufacturing Inc., a business recently formed by two Jabat employees and partners to keep the custom extruding and injection molding operation — and 37 jobs — in Olney, Ill.
The partners dug deep to buy the family-owned Jabat for an undisclosed sum as another prospective buyer talked about relocating production to Ohio. The plant has been in Olney for 29 years, Mac Plastics President and CEO Rod Michels told Plastics News.
Michels was a Jabat employee who rose from production manager, to general manager then vice president. He said the other buyer was only interested in the customer list and equipment. There was no talk about relocating employees.
Many sleepless nights followed as the new ownership group looked for ways to keep the Olney work crews and facility going, Michels added.
"I worked with my local resources and a couple of my coworkers to come up with a plan to purchase it," he said. "I have worked for Jabat for 25 years. I know what our company has done and what its capabilities are. We have succeeded for a long time for a reason and we knew that we could help take the company to another level."
The company, now called Mac Plastics, makes components for a variety of markets, including agriculture, building and construction, chemical, fencing, lawn and garden, sanitation, utilities and vacuum tubing. The business is primarily an extrusion house but does some injection molding.
Mac Plastics retained all 37 employees and is picking up where Jabat left off, Michels said.
"We have always operated as a team and I truly believe that we have a great one," he said. "This was a huge part of the motivation in buying the company. Keeping the jobs in our community meant everything to me."
The Mac Plastics partners closed the deal on April 1 with some financial support from Michels' wife, Susan, and her parents, George and Jackie Snider.
"We cashed out our retirement accounts and had help from my in-laws with collateral farm ground in order to put this deal together," Michels said.
His partners are Aaron Ackman, who worked 16 years at Jabat; Brian Craig, a veteran of the plastics industry; and John Murray, a friend. Ackman is vice president of sales and procurement and Craig is vice president of operations at Mac.
The Mac partners bought Jabat from the founders' family. Theresa Kulkaski and her late husband Stanley passed the business to their children about three years ago. Their daughter, Susan McGill, was majority owner and she remains president and CEO of a related business, K. Jabat Inc. in New Jersey, which serves the same end markets.
"Mac Plastics and K Jabat will continue to work together, just as separate entities," Michels said.
The acquisition included the Olney facility and its 13 extrusion lines — five of which have coextrusion capabilities — as well as 110-ton and 220-ton injection molding machines.
Recent investments at the plant include a 65mm Milacron twin-screw extruder, two fly knife cutters, two pullers, an automatic shrink wrapping units, and a desiccant dryer.
The new owners plan to buy a shredder and a new cooling tower. Mac Plastic officials also expect to add business and hire more employees.
"We are currently pursuing some new opportunities and look forward to what the future has to offer," Michels said. "We could increase our employee head count by as many as 10 to 12 over the next year."