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Graham acquires Welex, builds out machinery portfolio

Graham Group has acquired Welex, adding sheet extrusion to its capital equipment arm, which already included blowmolding and pipe/profile extrusion in the forms of Graham Engineering and American Kuhne, respectively.

Graham Group has acquired Welex, adding sheet extrusion to its capital equipment arm, which already included blowmolding and pipe/profile extrusion in the forms of Graham Engineering and American Kuhne, respectively.

As part of the deal, Welex's Greenville, NC manufacturing work will be moved to Graham Engineering's York, PA site. "It's our intention to consolidate the manufacturing operations from Greenville into York," Gina Haines, VP and chief marketing officer at Graham Engineering, told PlasticsToday. "The combined headcount for [Graham Engineering, Welex, and American Kuhne] is 140, and we expect minimal impact."

Welex relocated its manufacturing from Blue Bell, PA to Greenville in 2007, purchasing the former Prince Manufacturing building, according to Locate In Carolina. At the time, Welex was projected to be making an investment of $3 million in the plant, with 20 employees.

Welex, which supplies extruders, coextruders, gear pumps, sheet take-offs, and accessories, was founded by Frank Nissel in January 1967 as a subsidiary of W Bar E Inc. Nissel, a Plastics Hall of Fame member, retired from the company in 2010.

David Schroeder, former president and CEO of Welex, has been appointed as the president of Graham Engineering, while Wolfgang Liebertz, the current president, will now be CEO of the combined Graham Engineering and Welex organization.

Sales and customer support will be unchanged by the acquisition, according to a statement by Graham Engineering Chairman Bill Kerlin. In October 2012, Graham Group acquired a majority interest in American Kuhne.

Graham Group has a strong presence in the plastics packaging space, including its legacy business Graham Packaging, as well as Berry Plastics and Scandia Plastics.

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