Struggling injection molder Design Molded Plastics Inc. has a new name and new owner with big plans for the Macedonia, Ohio, company.
Big Shoulders Capital LLC announced June 9 it had completed its purchase of DMP's assets at a public auction under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, retaining more than 50 jobs.
Brian Schroeder, vice president of equity investments at the private investment firm, and now DMP president and acting CEO, said DMP was "out of funds, out of resin and the ownership group was unwilling or unable to provide additional capital."
"We purchased the debt of the business in four days and began funding the payroll," Schroeder said June 13 by phone.
A previous owner, private equity firm TVV Capital Partners of Nashville, Tenn., had acquired DMP in 2014. At that time, DMP employed about 120 and had sales of roughly $23 million. Now, sales are closer to $15 million.
Schroeder aims to turn performance around by restructuring management, "rightsizing," improving customer relations and "bringing new business in the door."
Big Shoulders said it also plans bolt-on acquisitions of other injection molding companies.
DMP was established in 1985. The company has 35 presses with clamping forces of 88-950 tons and offers two-shot molding, vertical molding, in-mold labeling and subassembly. To increase capacity and efficiency while reducing overtime, the company moved to a 24/7 production schedule.
Its 62,000-square-foot plant and 68,000-square-foot warehouse sit on about 10 acres in Macedonia, halfway between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.
The company's name will change a bit, to Design Molded Products LLC, dba DMP LLC.
Big Shoulders, which specializes in underperforming lower middle-market industrial manufacturers, bought another Midwest plastics company in 2020, DRS Industries Inc. of Holland, Ohio, now known as DRS Industrial LLC.
DRS makes aluminum molds and does short-run custom injection molding production and rapid prototyping. Bought out of receivership, that company is doing well, Schroeder said. "That purchase now is a profitable business that's back on its feet," he added.
Big Shoulders' portfolio includes metal and steel product makers as well. The company, in the northern Chicago suburb of Northbrook, Ill., takes its moniker from a Carl Sandburg poem that gave the city one of its many nicknames: City of the Big Shoulders.