Resin distributor M. Holland has formed a distribution partnership with JL Goor Materials, a materials supplier based in Ireland.
The move is the first formal business venture in Europe for Northbrook, Ill.-based M. Holland. Dublin-based JL Goor distributes commodity and engineering resins mainly in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
JL Goor's primary market is medical manufacturers in that region. The firm has more than 30 years of market experience and is expected to grow sales of M. Holland's Mtegrity-brand resin line and other materials in Europe.
"We've been on a journey of expansion for some time," International Vice President Eugenio Calderon said in an Oct. 7 interview. "This deal really came together in the last year. Europe is an attractive growth market for us."
Executive Vice President Dwight Morgan added that officials with both firms were able to meet in person last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic limited business travel. He said those meetings helped the deal take shape. Global Healthcare Manager Josh Blackmore also had previous experience in working with JL Goor.
Medical applications that use materials distributed by JL Goor include medical devices, surgical instruments and personal protection equipment. In addition to medical, key markets for JL Goor are rotational molding, film and flexible packaging. The firm also does some plastics machinery sales, but M. Holland won't be involved in that part of the business.
In a news release, JL Goor Managing Director Gearoid Clarke said that the partnership "will strengthen our growth plans for the U.K." He added that it will complement the firm's business with its existing polyolefin partners in Ireland and enhance supply options to existing and new customers.
Morgan said that sales outside of the U.S. and Canada now make up more than 20 percent of M. Holland's overall sales. That number is up from just a small percentage only a few years ago.
Calderon added that M. Holland intends to invest more in Europe and is looking at different ways to grow the business. The firm has made four acquisitions since 2012, most recently buying T&T Marketing of Andover, Mass., in 2017.
M. Holland is one of North America's largest resin distributors, selling more than $1 billion in materials to more than 4,000 customers annually.