By Dan Hockensmith, Plastics News
Global speciality plastics and fibre supplier Filtrona plc will pay $35 million for Lendell Manufacturing, a US maker of water-soluble polyurethane foams.
Lendell officials did not return calls seeking comment. The privately held company makes speciality foams for the medical, agricultural, printing and personal care markets at its 60 000 sq.ft (5574 sq.m) facility in St Charles, Michigan.
In a 3 Oct news release, Milton Keynes, England-based Filtrona put Lendell's expected 2008 earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation at $4.2m. It added that 55 percent of Lendell's business is in the medical sector, complementing Filtrona's existing operations.
As a result of the deal, Filtrona's bonded fibre components division is being renamed the porous technologies division, and expanded to include Lendell's assets.
The purchase fits with Filtrona's strategy to focus on what it considers higher-margin, higher-growth-potential businesses, according to chief executive Mark Harper.
He said in a news release: "We anticipate significant benefits from utilising our existing global manufacturing and commercial footprint to access new markets for Lendell products as well as from selling bonded fibre products to existing Lendell customers."
Filtrona's porous technologies division will be headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with plants in Richmond; St Charles; Reinbek, Germany; and Ningbo, China.
Filtrona's Fibertec brand will remain to designate its bonded fibre technology products, while foam products will be marketed under the Lendell name, executives said.
Lendell president Tim Drumhiller will join the new management team as divisional vice president of foam products.
Beneficial effects of the Lendell acquisition would somewhat be offset by a strike at Seattle-based Boeing, one of Filtrona's largest clients, and a production halt at Filtrona's MSI Oilfield Products subsidiary in Houston caused by Hurricane Ike, Filtrona said.
The company has 4 700 employees at 36 manufacturing facilities, 42 distribution and sales offices, and four research facilities spread across 24 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Filtrona makes cigarette filters and fibre products, such as reservoirs and wicks for writing instruments and printers, as well as household goods and medical devices.
For the first half of 2008, Filtrona reported pre-tax profit of £30.1m ($53m) on sales of £264.6m ($468m).
• Dan Hockensmith is a journalist at Plastics News, a sister title of Urethanes Technology International.