Udine, Italy-based toolmaker Self Group srl has acquired Baxter, Minn.-based toolmaker Avantech Inc. for about $8 million to have a presence in North America and add capabilities to serve rotational molders.
Founded in 1950, Self Group specializes in manufacturing large dimension tooling for thermoforming, compression and reaction injection molding (RIM) processing.
Avantech, which was founded in 1988 as Lakeland Mold, started out producing cast and CNC-cut aluminum tooling and molds for rotational molding customers, which grew to include John Deere, Toro, Igloo and Old Town Canoe Co.
Twenty-six years later, in 2014, the company rebranded as Avantech to reflect its added services for product development and tool repair.
With this deal, Avantech will see immediate growth with the transfer of toolmaking opportunities currently going to Italy while Self Group as whole will expand by entering the European rotational mold market, according to Self Group CEO Andrea Zonta.
"We estimate that in just three years the sales of Avantech will grow of 50 percent," Zonta said in an email.
In the last five years, Avantech has invested in two large bridge-style CNC machines to take on even larger-scale tooling, added four new machining centers, and earned ISO 9001:2015 certification.
Self Group acquired the complete business, all equipment, business contacts, contracts and certifications, Zonta said. All 46 employees were retained and new jobs will be created, he added.
"A robust cross training will be facilitated to assure the common high-quality levels maintained by both the U.S. and Europe segments of our organization," Zonta also said
The deal brings Self Group 16 CNC machining centers, increased metal fabrication capacity and ISO certification for what will be the Avantech–Self Group division, Zonta added.
When asked about the terms of the deal, he said: "The value of the operation was around $8 million. With this acquisition Self Group has a combined Europe/NA sales revenue around of $16 million."
With $7.7 million in 2021 sales, Avantech ranks No. 70 among North American mold and tool makers, according to Plastics News data.
"The Avantech-Self Group manufacturing will provide local access to our North American customers as well as 'made in USA' recognition," Zonta said. "The acquisition also expands the capabilities of Self Group to include rotational molding tooling into their Europe markets. The synergy is great providing expertise and manufacturing diversification for both the Avantech and Self Group existing clients."
Avantech has seen sales grow about 15 percent annually in recent years.
The investment company led by Zonta created Self Group in February 2020 and brought on managers with experience in manufacturing, particularly automotive.
Self Group, which has its headquarters and plant in Rivignano Teor, in the province of Udine, has customers in 29 countries.