Southfield, Mich.-based SyBridge Technologies LP has acquired Calframax Technologies Inc., a mold maker based in Oldcastle, Ontario, to expand in the consumer end market.
Founded in 1995, Calframax makes molds for household items, industrial packaging and horticultural products. The company also offers design and engineering services as well as aftermarket parts and repair.
The deal marks SyBridge's 12th acquisition since its creation in 2019 by Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm that committed $200 million of equity to bring together companies with manufacturing solutions that span end markets, geographies and technological capabilities.
The Calframax transaction takes the acquirer into mold making for rigid plastic packaging and continues its vision to build a leadership position in consumer goods markets, according to SyBridge CEO Tony Nardone.
"This is an important acquisition in that it brings us directly into the consumer equipment market, which has been a part of our strategy since our foundation," Nardone said in an email.
Calframax's tooling is used to mold household food containers, recycling bins and waste baskets, laundry baskets and paint trays.
"They have a great position in their legacy markets as outlined above," Nardone said. "We think we can further grow in that segment, but also continue to grow their newer thin-wall packaging capabilities — think pasta deli containers — as well as use our broad footprint to further support their existing clients."
One of Calframax's innovations was a redesign of the standard 5-gallon pail mold to reduce cycle times by three seconds on average, which let customers produce more than 350,000 additional pails per year.
Calframax was founded by former Letica Corp. tooling specialists. It moved into its current plant in Oldcastle in 1998, then expanded in 2010, adding space and injection presses for mold tryouts.
Bill McDonough, president of SyBridge's consumer and life sciences business units, and Calframax owners Joe Gasparovic and Ray Little built a top-tier consumer tooling company. SyBridge plans to retain the 75-80 full-time employees.
"The entire Calframax team will strengthen the SyBridge franchise. We are excited to welcome new team members and work together to support our customers' continued growth investments," McDonough said in a news release.
Gasparovic and Little look at the deal as the next step in Calframax's evolution to create opportunities for customers and employees, the release says.
SyBridge officials are open to further acquisitions.
"Crestview Partners has committed substantial capital to help us further expand both our capabilities and geographies. As such, I think it's fair to say that we will continue to evaluate and execute on attractive acquisitions which we think will build the overall SyBridge platform," Nardone said.
In other recent acquisitions, SyBridge acquired Fitchburg, Mass.-based Wachusett Precision Tool Inc. in May to expand its customer base and footprint in the life sciences and consumer markets.
In March, SyBridge acquired Advantage Engineering Inc. in Windsor, Ontario, to offer online quoting for digital rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing as well as bridge tooling.
Other acquisitions have included Active Industrial Solutions Inc. in Windsor; Pyramid Mold & Tool in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; Lakeshore Fixture & Gauge Ltd. in Windsor; Action Tooling LLC in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Concours Technologies Inc. of Lakeshore, Ontario; Valiant Tool and Mold Inc. of Windsor; X-Cell Tool and Mold Inc. in Fairview, Pa.; Toolplas Mexico of Querétaro, Mexico; and Toolstats software platform.
The Concours business is No. 3 in the most recent Plastics News ranking of North American mold makers with $154 million in annual sales.