Techmer PM LLC founder and CEO John Manuck has transitioned to the role of executive chairman at the materials firm.
That move was effective May 1, with Michael McHenry becoming CEO for Clinton, Tenn.-based Techmer. In a May 3 news release, company officials said that as chairman, Manuck will be directly engaged in corporate strategy and acquisitions, while McHenry will drive the day-to-day operations of the business.
In July 2020, Manuck and business partners Rehrig Pacific and Tokyo Ink sold a majority stake in Techmer to investment firm SK Capital of New York. SK has made several plastics acquisitions in recent years, including nylon 6/6 maker Ascend Performance Materials LLC and PVC compounder Geon Performance Solutions.
In a May 5 interview with Plastics News, Manuck said that in his new role he'll focus on both M&A and potential new end markets.
"There's a lot of M&A activity now, but it still comes down to fundamentals," he said. "SK has a history of taking things globally, not just buying and flipping over. They make bigger organizations.
"I think we can spread geographically around the world and share our culture, not just add scale and size," he added.
Potential new markets for Techmer include medical and food packaging. "Some food packaging is commodity, but now some is more complex and challenging," Manuck said. "You can make multilayer products with a different additive in each layer."
Manuck added that he's looking forward to the challenge of his new position. "Techmer has been my life for 40 years," he said. "I didn't want to walk away from that."
McHenry joined Techmer in July 2020 as chief operating officer. He came to Techmer PM after serving as CEO and board director of metalworking fluids firm Master Fluid Solutions. Prior to that, McHenry held management roles with BASF SE and Ciba Specialty Chemicals.
McHenry said that over the past 40 years, Manuck "built an exceptional organization that is a recognized leader in polymer modification and material design through masterbatch and engineering compounds."
"As CEO of this innovative company, I'm honored to build upon Techmer PM's success and committed to lead and contribute to its remarkable customer-focused team and strong culture," McHenry added.
Manuck founded Techmer in 1981. He began his plastics career in 1969 at a resin plant operated by Monsanto Inc. in Massachusetts.
Techmer makes engineered compounds and color and additive concentrates for plastics and fibers. The firm employs 600 at plants in Clinton; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; Wichita, Kan.; Dalton, Ga.; New Castle, Del.; Batavia, Ill.; and Querétaro, Mexico.
Since 2014, Techmer has been named to the Plastics News Best Places to Work list six times, most recently in 2021. The firm is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to Plastics News data.