Silgan Holdings Inc.'s $900 million deal for Albéa Group's dispensing business led the way in the first half for a plastics M&A market that was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Albéa deal will expand the rigid packaging business of Stamford, Conn.-based Silgan. The dispensing business is primarily the former Rexam Personal Care business, which Paris-based Albéa bought in 2013.
The Albéa business generated 2018 sales of $383 million. It makes pumps, sprayers and foam dispensing products for beauty and personal care customers. The business has 10 plants in North America, Europe, South America and Asia.
Silgan chairman and CEO Tony Allott described the Albéa unit as "predominately a plastics dispensing business" with a relatively small amount of its sales generated from metal products. He added that the proposed deal will give his firm new products in the highly engineered dispensing category, such as fine lotion dispensing solutions for skin care.
Silgan followed up the Albéa transaction with a smaller deal, acquiring Macedonia, Ohio-based injection molder Cobra Plastics Inc. Cobra makes injection molded closures, with a focus on the aerosol overcap market. Cobra has annual sales of about $30 million and has two plants in Macedonia.
Active buyers Pexco LLC and Tank Holding Corp. also pulled off multiple first-half deals.
Pexco, North America's largest custom industrial extruder, kept its shopping spree alive by acquiring NDM Marking Systems Inc., a maker of traffic markers based in Jasper, Ga. NDM was founded in 2015. Its products are used by transportation authorities, utility companies and contractors.
Johns Creek, Ga.-based Pexco then acquired Exlon Extrusion Inc. of Greensboro, N.C. Exlon is a precision extruder of plastic tubing founded in 1984 by Dennis Swink. The company offers custom and proprietary nylon, polyurethane, polypropylene and polyethylene pneumatic tubing and recoil hose products.
Pexco now has made seven acquisitions since it was acquired by private equity firm AEA Investors LP in 2018.
North American rotational molding leader Tank Holding made four first-half deals and now has made 10 in less than two years. Tank is owned by private equity firm Olympus Partners.
Tank's first-half run began when it bought a plant with two rotomolding machines in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, from Acrylon Plastics Inc., and then picked up a chemical mixing system called the Handler from Polywest Ltd. of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Officials with Tank in Lincoln, Neb., said that the Saskatoon factory will allow the firm to better serve customers in that region of Canada. The Handler is designed to facilitate the mixing and dispensing of agricultural chemicals into different types of tank equipment.
Tank also in the first half bought rotational molder Meese Inc. of Madison, Ind. Meese makes bulk laundry and linen carts, material handling bins and containers, recycling bins, recreational carts and other products.
Tank CEO Greg Wade said that Meese "represents an important part of Tank Holding's overall growth strategy, which is to establish leading positions in markets that are adjacent to our legacy core businesses."
In between those deals, Tank made a nonplastics acquisition, buying the intermediate bulk container manufacturing assets of Houston-based steel fabricator Hoover Ferguson Group Inc. IBCs are portable tanks used to transport chemicals and food products.
Other notable first-half plastics M&A deals involved Brown Machine Group and Pacur LLC.
Beaverton, Mich.-based BMG acquired robotics capabilities from automation equipment supplier Axatronics LLC, a Loveland, Ohio-based firm that won an innovation award for developing a robot to tie bows around candy boxes.
BMG Sales Vice President Bob Gordert told Plastics News that BMG acquired Axatronics's intellectual property, product lines and brand in addition to robotic capabilities and technology. He said that the addition "aligns nicely with our growth strategy for end-of-line automation, innovation and strengthens our position as a fully integrated turnkey solution provider."
BMG makes thermoforming equipment and tooling as well as automated material handling equipment for paper and plastic products.
Pacur, an Oshkosh, Wis.-based sheet extruder, found a new owner when San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors bought a stake in the firm. Pacur has been in the public spotlight since Ron Johnson, its former president, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010,
Pacur President Barry Johnson, Ron's brother, said his family will remain involved in the firm. Barry Johnson will continue to manage the business,and "the Johnson family will remain significant owners in the company," he said.
Ron Johnson, was Pacur's president prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. He won reelection in 2016.
Gryphon is a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies, partnering with company management. It focuses on health care, consumer products and services, industrial growth, software and business services.
Barry Johnson said Gryphon will look to expand Pacur organically and through acquisition. Gryphon does not currently own any other plastics companies.