Investment firm Thunderbird LLC made its second plastics-related acquisition of the year, buying injection molder Bright Plastics Inc., a contract manufacturer based in Greensboro, N.C., with custom capabilities, especially for large-scale items.
Bright Plastics will be added to Thunderbird's portfolio of manufacturing companies — Impact Molding — to expand injection molding support for the medical, defense, aerospace, transportation, recreation, waste management and telecom markets.
"We were attracted to Bright's full set of capabilities, including clean room molding, two-shot molding, in mold labeling and press tonnage range from 40-1,550 tons as well as its strategic location in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina," Blake Prunsky, Thunderbird's director of corporate development, said in an email.
Bright has two manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, a Class 7 ISO-compliant clean room for manufacturing medical products such as IV connectors and surgical instruments and a fully barcoded warehouse and shipping area.
Founded in 1987 by Steve Bright, a former Rubbermaid executive, Bright Plastics employs 160 people who produce parts, assemblies and components with 32 injection machines, three automated assembly machines and a tool room and mold shop.
With $35 million in annual sales, Bright Plastics ranks 183rd among North American injection molders, according to Plastics News' latest ranking.
Bright Plastics operates out of a 67,000-square-foot facility that houses manufacturing and corporate headquarters and a 113,00-square-foot facility with manufacturing and distribution.
Thunderbird officials plan to retain the employees and both operations in Greensboro, according to a news release about the deal.
"We will benefit from the broader reach of the diverse capabilities at Bright Plastics, as will our customers. We expect customers to realize their goals in new ways thanks to the unique equipment and depth of knowledge at Bright," Kevin Prunsky, chairman of the board of Thunderbird, said in the release.
Thunderbird President Phil Kretekos said he envisions a greater range of support for OEMs looking to elevate their product output.
"The specialized abilities at Bright Plastics coupled with their collaborative approach to manufacturing complements our existing high-volume plastic production capabilities," Kretekos said in the release.
Becoming a Thunderbird company is a testament to the team at Bright Plastics, according to Kirk Sparks, president of Bright Plastics.
"This move ensures the legacy of our founder, Steve Bright, and speaks to the talent and commitment of the professionals at Bright who continually embrace new technology and new equipment to meet the demands of a growing customer base," Sparks said in the release.
The Bright deal follows Thunderbird's acquisition of a contract manufacturer of components in May. The firm bought MPR Plastics Inc., an injection molder in Elgin, Ill., with 23 molding machines ranging from 30-300 tons in a 38,000-square-foot facility.
In 2018, Thunderbird bought Williams Industries Inc. in Shelbyville, Ind., and sister companies Indiana Plastics Inc. and Kruis Mold & Engineering Inc. in Elkhart, Ind.
Impact Molding now operates six plants across four states and the number will likely grow.
"We intend to continue identifying and acquiring complementary businesses that either expand our geographic reach, set of capabilities, or customer base," Blake Prunsky said.
For the latest acquisition, DLA Piper LLP and Honigman LLP served as legal counsel to Thunderbird while Bright Plastics was represented by MBS Advisors and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP.