Over its 22-year tenure in the precision, critical-to-function silicone molding industry, IRP Group has had a keen eye for bringing businesses into its portfolio that add value — either by increasing its customer base, operational knowledge or by seizing a market share in an industry where it did not previously have a foothold.
But there's always a bigger fish in the sea, and they, too, have their eyes firmly set on acquiring talented, successful companies for similar reasons.
Such was the case when Southern California-based Integrated Polymer Solutions, a tight-threshold elastomer and composite material manufacturer for a range of industries, purchased Ontario, Calif.-based IRP Group and its set of companies Feb. 18.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"A lot of things drew us to IRP," said IPS CEO Rich McManus. "It is a great company with a great team. The team really has tremendous experience in silicone rubber product lines, and these many years of experience have been very attractive to us. The team that Rod [Trujillo, IRP Group founder] and Casper [Zublin, IRP Group president] built is absolutely a top-notch business that provided a great fit for us from a cultural standpoint — this also is a big advantage."
Started as a medical and aerospace molding business in 1999 by Trujillo, the IRP Group has seen 23 percent annual growth rate per year over the last six years, a growth trend that shows no signs of abating considering the more extensive resources now available under Long Beach, Calif.-based IPS.
"IRP has found an ideal partner in IPS that will continue the company's growth trajectory in our critical markets while developing our employees and delighting our customers with strong technical solutions, excellent delivery and quality performance," Trujillo said. "As a senior adviser and a significant investor in IPS, I look forward to supporting the company's future business expansion, especially in the specialty medical components sector."
IRP Group brings about 215 employees across its platforms to the 600-employee IPS. IRP Group has five facilities in Southern California, including one each for medical, aerospace, coating and laminating, engineering and automation, and a Center for Excellence. IPS has production facilities in Long Beach (with its flagship company, Rubbercraft); San Diego, Calif.; Sheffield, England; and Westchester, Pa.
Trujillo, who along with Zublin will continue as advisers with Arcline Investment Management, the private equity firm that owns IPS, said IRP Group received 22 total offers before agreeing to the union with IPS.
"Obviously it was all about the people," Trujillo said. "I got a nice book when the sale was made and everyone wrote in it. I had submitted much of my life to the everyday and everybody there. Now I can advise and stay in the industry, but this offers me an opportunity to take a break and breathe and be with my family.
"The emotions are still raw, as I love all people there. I will make sure to do whatever I can to ensure this company has all the success it can."