Thermoset plastics: Acquisition leads to merger of Hadlock Plastics and Premix

Two investment firms joined forces to acquire thermoset plastics compounder and processor Premix, and intend to merge it and its subsidiary, Quantum Composites Inc., with Hadlock Plastics, another thermoset plastics processor. Contacted by MPW, Terry Morgan, Hadlock's president, who will serve as CEO of the combined group, said layoffs are not planned as the merger is seen as a growth opportunity. Selling Premix is Mason Wells Inc., a private equity company out of Milwaukee, WI.

The purchase price is not being disclosed. Buying Premix and its Quantum Composites Inc. subsidiary are investment firms Highlander Partners L.P. (Dallas, TX) and Capstone Capital Partners (Cleveland, OH). Capstone acquired Hadlock Plastics in June 2008 from Glenn Hadlock. The two equity investors have a strategic alliance whose focus, according to Highlander, is to "focus on making control equity investments in underperforming or distressed lower-middle-market companies that may require management expertise, access to capital, and strategic support to improve operational performance."

Premix Inc. (North Kingsville, OH) claims to be the largest North American developer, formulator and manufacturer of thermoset compounds and custom-molded components. The company markets sheet molding compound (SMC), bulk molding compound (BMC) and thick molding compound (TMC), and also offers custom compression, injection, and transfer molding of these materials. Quantum Composites Inc. (Bay City, MI) makes and markets glass- and carbon fiber reinforced thermoset compounds for high-end structural composite parts such as those found in the aerospace, defense, marine and automotive industries. Hadlock Plastics, based in Geneva, Ohio, offers multiple composite processing technologies, including compression molding, open molding, light resin transfer molding, and resin transfer molding as well as precision machining and complete finishing and assembly.

In answer to MPW questions, Terry Morgan responded that neither plant closings nor consolidations were planned. The merger is seen as a positive vertical integration, bringing together compounders (Premix and Quantum) with a well-established processor, Hadlock. "This is a growth opportunity," added Morgan. While Morgan will lead the combined company as CEO, Premix COO Tom Meola will assume an expanded role as COO for the new company, which employs 430 and has more than 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

In a statement, Morgan added, "The drive to replace traditional manufacturing materials such as metal and wood with superior-performing, corrosion-resistant, high-strength-to-weight ratio composites is creating new opportunities in a broad range of industries, including aerospace, alternative energy, medical, electrical, HVAC, transportation, defense, construction, and industrial equipment."

Last July, Mason Wells acquired polyethylene films extruder Appleton Performance Packaging from Appleton Papers Inc. and renamed it NEX Performance Films Inc.

 

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