Atlanta-based Oldcastle APG liquidated a polyethylene recycling plant in Watts, Okla., that was a holdover property from its 2017 acquisition of composite decking manufacturer Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. (AERT).
The facility had been closed for a while and the decision has nothing to do with COVID-19, Kenneth O'Neill, executive vice president of Oldcastle's National Group, told Plastics News.
"Our business is performing well and this has been planned for years as we no longer use the type of recycling used in that plant," O'Neill said in an email.
Oldcastle acquired AERT, which was based in Springdale, Ark., three years ago for $117 million to enter the capped composite decking market. AERT had its primary manufacturing facility in Springdale as well as a plastics recycling, blending and storage facility in Lowell, Ark.
The Watts facility handled plastics recycling, cleaning and reformulation.
"We no longer needed the facility as our Lowell facility is able to supply recycled plastics for our production," O'Neill said. "The material recycled in Oklahoma was no longer relevant to our production process."
The sale of shredders, sorters, conveyors, silos and blowers drew more than 100 registered bidders between May 27 and June 2 and brought in almost double the value expected, according to a July 23 news release from Aaron Equipment Co., an auction and liquidation services firm.
"When a top-tier plastic recycling plant built to recycle polyethylene plastic and convert it into plastic feedstock approached us about an auction, we were honored to help," the release says. "We feel as though by turning around the large facility and getting that equipment into the hands of other potential recyclers quickly, we have done a small part to help keep plastic recycling on track."
A major concern for everyone involved in the auction was returning equipment to the marketplace at a time when single-use plastic demand is up because of the pandemic, the release says.
Aaron Equipment described the recycling plant as "relatively young" and said its equipment has "plenty of years of service ahead."
The sales went swiftly and "when all bidding was said and done, the company almost doubled the customer's expectation in value," the release says.
The auction was conducted in partnership with PPL Group LLC of Northbrook, Ill.
O'Neill declined to comment on the auction, saying Oldcastle doesn't discuss financial metrics for transactions or real estate market conditions.
Oldcastle APG is a U.S. subsidiary of CRH plc, which has its headquarters in Dublin.
Oldcastle operates the former AERT decking business as MoistureShield Corp. The MoistureShield product line includes Vision and Infuse capped composite decking with cooling technology, Elevate capped composite decking with a scalloped underside that lowers material and retail costs, and reversible Vantage uncapped composite decking with a wood-grain texture on both sides.
With estimated sales of $98 million, MoistureShield Corp. has the No. 42 spot in the latest ranking of North American pipe, profile and tubing producers by Plastics News.