Your Business in Brief - July 2006

Georgia Gulf to Buy Royal GroupGeorgia Gulf Corp. in Atlanta, the third largest PVC producer in North America, agreed in mid-June to buy Royal Group Technologies Ltd., Woodbridge, Ont., a major producer of PVC building products, for $1.6 billion.

Georgia Gulf to Buy Royal Group

Georgia Gulf Corp. in Atlanta, the third largest PVC producer in North America, agreed in mid-June to buy Royal Group Technologies Ltd., Woodbridge, Ont., a major producer of PVC building products, for $1.6 billion. Royal Group, which says it is the largest PVC extruder in North America, makes PVC siding, window profiles, pipe, fencing, decking, and more.

Georgia Gulf is a major supplier of PVC to siding producers, who may now view the company as a competitor. Royal itself produces about 500 million lb/yr of PVC resin internally and buys about 300 million lb commercially, so the deal gives Georgia Gulf a 15% addition to its 2.7 billion lb/yr capacity and also its first vertical integration with extrusion. Its larger PVC competitors all own pipe production.


BASF Completes Engelhard Purchase

BASF AG of Germany announced in January its offer to acquire all the shares of Engelhard Corp., Iselin, N.J. Despite an initial rebuff by Engelhard, the deal finally closed last month. Although BASF’s primary target was Engelhard’s catalyst business, Engelhard also makes organic and inorganic pigments, clay fillers, and decorative films.

Chinese Injection Machine Builder Restructures U.S. Operations
Injection molding machine maker Ningbo Haitian Group Co. Ltd. in Ningbo, China, has formed a sales and service partnership with Absolute Machinery, Worcester, Mass. The new organization, named Absolute Haitian, will act as a separate business that is the exclusive sales and distribution point for Haitian machinery in North America. The new company will operate out of a 25,000-sq-ft facility in Worcester, says industry veteran Glenn Frohring, v.p. of sales and marketing for the new entity.

Ningbo Haitian is said to be one of the largest machinery suppliers in the world, having shipped over 14,000 units last year. It is closing its two previous U.S. sites—Haitian Machinery N.A. in Itasca, Ill., and Haitian Machinery Canada Co. Ltd. in Mississauga, Ont. Absolute Haitian is planning to add regional locations in the U.S. and in Canada, says Frohring.

In Europe, Ningbo Haitian recently set up a company called Zhafir Plastics Machinery in Schwabisch Gmund, Germany, to produce a premium line of all-electric presses using European components. The machines will be assembled in Germany, though most of the machines will be shipped to Asia.


Albis Closes Down U.S. Compounding

Albis Plastic GmbH, Hamburg, Germany, closed its compounding plant in Rosenberg, Texas, on May 31. Company officials were unavailable to comment on the reason for the closure. The company said North American customers would be supplied from Albis’ European compounding facilities.


Conair Divests Pelletizer Line

Conair in Pittsburgh has sold its line of strand and water-slide pelletizers to Reduction Engineering, Inc., Kent, Ohio. Conair was the largest maker of strand pelletizers in North America. Since 2002, Reduction Engineering has built Conair’s pelletizers and shared marketing and sales. It handled service and rotor sharpening through its regional Accu-Grind facilities. Reduction Engineering also makes pulverizers and sells rotomolding machines from Rotoline of Brazil.


Ferro Plans Sale of Specialty Plastics

Ferro Corp., Cleveland, has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to sell its Specialty Plastics business unit to an unidentified buyer. The unit has revenues of about $270 million. It includes Filled and Reinforced Plastics in Evansville, Ind.; Plastic Colorants (color and additive concentrates) in Stryker, Ohio; Liquid Coatings and Dispersions in Edison, N.J., and Plymouth, Ind.; and Advanced Polymer Alloys, maker of Alcryn MPR and other TPEs, in Wilmington, Del. Specialty Plastics also has facilities in Spain and the Netherlands.


RJG Buys A. Routsis

RJG, Inc., Traverse City, Mich., a maker of plastic molding control and monitoring systems, has purchased A. Routsis Associates, Inc., Dracut, Mass., a producer of plastics training materials. RJG saw a fit because it is already heavily involved in training through its Systematic Molding and Master Molder programs.


MPM Sold to U.S. Investment Co.

Mannesmann Plastics Machinery (MPM) GmbH in Munich, Germany, the world’s largest maker of plastics and rubber processing machinery, is being purchased by Madison Capital Partners, a Chicago investment group, together with MPM managers. MPM has four independent injection molding and extrusion machinery operations: Krauss-Maffei, Demag Plastics Group, Netstal, and Berstorff. MPM is in the final stages of the sale of its French Billion injection machinery company to its management.
Madison Capital Partners also owns thermoforming equipment maker Brown Machine LLC, Beaverton, Mich., and Epco Machinery, a plastics machine remanufacturer in Fremont, Ohio.


Audax Group Buys ColorMatrix Corp.

Private equity firm Audax Group, based in New York and Boston, has purchased ColorMatrix Corp., Cleveland. ColorMatrix produces liquid color and additive concentrates. Other Audax plastics investments include Dynisco LLC, Franklin, Mass., and Thermotech, a custom injection molder in Hopkins, Minn.


Graco Expands to House Gusmer/Decker RIM

By the end of this year, Graco Inc., Minneapolis, plans to move its recently acquired Gusmer/Decker RIM machinery business from Lakewood, N.J., to a 58,000-sq-ft expansion of its manufacturing facility in North Canton, Ohio. The location is home to the Graco/Liquid Control business unit.