French moldmaker Plastisud buys Integrity Mold

In an effort to better service its global customers in North America, Plastisud, a French mold manufacturer of large-cavitation molds for the thin-wall packaging and beverage closures markets, announced the acquisition of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky-based Integrity Mold & Die. According to Plastisud's (Castelnaudary), this acquisition is the beginning of a "worldwide deployment in order to better satisfy customers' expectations."

Founded by molders Dwight Looney, Kyle Thompson and Rick McGraw in 1989, Integrity Mold & Die grew into a manufacturer of precision molds for thin-wall packaging. In particular, the company specializes in high-cavitation hot runner tools and stack molds.

Looney, who serves as the company's VP of Engineering, told PlasticsToday in a telephone interview from France, where he is in meetings with Plastisud this week, that Plastisud found Integrity while it targeted firms for a North American acquisition.

"As with a lot of European companies, they do business in North America - about 25% of their sales are from North American customers - and they wanted to find a partner to support the business they currently have in North America as well as build new business for the future," Looney said.  

While Looney said the partners were happy with Integrity's position in its market, one partner, Kyle Thompson, wanted to retire meaning Looney and McGraw would have to buy out Thompson's interest in Integrity. "This really helps us with the future," Looney commented. "It eliminated our debt load and provides both companies with good opportunities for growth in the future. It allows Integrity to expand its markets into bottle caps and medical—markets we don't currently serve—and increase our capabilities."

Integrity will be increasing its mold trial capabilities. Looney noted that Plastisud does extensive mold tryouts and process validation in its facility. Integrity currently has two presses in which it performs some prototype work, but Looney said Integrity currently doesn't perform mold tryouts on the production molds it builds.

"They won't be transplanting work from France, but we'll grow through organic growth," Looney commented. "They'll help us get into new markets and get the equipment we need to expand our technical capabilities and services to be on par with theirs."

Each company brings its own customer base, but share a common business philosophy of dedication to customers and to customer service, as well as their specialty in close-tolerance, precision molds. Integrity currently has 25 employees at its newly-built 25,000-sq-ft facility and averages approximately $5 million/year turnover.

Jean-Luc Giraud, CEO of Plastisud, said in a prepared statement, "Plastisud already is an international company, exporting 80% of its molds to five continents. With the addition of Integrity, we now have a more robust global presence."

Plastisud has approximately 160-180 employees at its production facility covering 130,000 sq ft that includes a test lab of 17,000 sq ft equipped with 10 injection molding machines. Plastisud said that the infrastructure of the company allows it to guarantee optimum conditions for acceptance of both the mold and the plastic part for its customers.

Plastisud highlights its claim to have been the first moldmaker to manufacture a 144-cavity mold for plastic beverage closures under 1 gram with an olive plug seal; a 16 + 16 petri dish mold; and high-cavitation molds for IML, thin-wall packaging with an L/T ratio between 350mm and 400mm, the highest in the industry.

Both Integrity and Plastisud are privately held companies and didn't release terms of the acquisition. Looney added that he and McGraw plan to stay with Integrity for the long-term.

"It's probably an over-used term, but there really is a very good synergy between Integrity and Plastisud," Looney stated.

Engel, the Austrian injection molding machine manufacturer, and Plastisud formed a joint venture for the production of sealing caps for water and soft drinks containers in China. The new concept, which they call Green Cap, was launched at Chinaplas 2012 in Shanghai.

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