Sponsored By
Clare Goldsberry

July 12, 2016

3 Min Read
Barnes Group to acquire Foboha molds business

Barnes Group Inc. (Bristol, CT), an international aerospace and industrial manufacturing service provider, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Adval Tech’s molds business, Foboha, focused on the development and manufacture of complex plastic injection molds for packaging, medical, consumer and automotive applications. Foboha, headquartered in Haslach, Germany, operates out of three manufacturing locations in Germany, Switzerland and China.

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freedigitalphotos.net.

Barnes Group has agreed to purchase the Foboha moldmaking business for CHF 133 million (approximately $136 million), subject to certain closing adjustments. It is expected to finance the transaction with cash on hand and borrowings under the company’s revolving credit facility. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions. Following the closing, Foboha will operate as a business within the Molding Solutions strategic business unit of Barnes Group’s Industrial Segment.

“We are excited to add Foboha’s proprietary cube mold technology to our portfolio of advanced offerings in the plastic injection molding industry,” said Patrick Dempsey, President and CEO of Barnes Group Inc. “The addition of Foboha enhances our position as a leading global supplier of complex molding systems.”

Mark Moss, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Barnes Group’s Molding Solutions business unit, told PlasticsToday in a telephone interview that the growth of the Molding Solutions business has provided Barnes Group with many opportunities within the injection molding segment. Beginning with the acquisition of Synventive, Barnes Group’s first acquisition in the injection molding segment, the company has since expanded this business to include Männer, a global hot runner and high-cavitation mold manufacturer; Thermoplay, a hot-runner manufacturer based in Italy serving the packaging, cap and closure markets; and Priamus, a developer and manufacturer of quality monitoring and process control systems.

“Barnes Group wasn’t looking for a plastics company specifically when it acquired Synventive, but it was looking for an industry leader and a company rich in intellectual property,” said Moss, criteria that Synventive fulfilled. “Subsequently, it sought additional opportunities in the injection molding space,” added Moss. The purchase of Männer in 2013 brought another leading hot-runner manufacturer into the fold that also had mold manufacturing capabilities.

“Männer had a strong market in high-cavitation molds,” Moss explained. “Männer is a mold company that also manufactures hot runners. When customers purchase Manner systems they do so to get the whole package—the mold and hot-runner system—to optimize the molding process in the medical and personal care markets.”

Moss emphasized that when the Barnes Group looks at increasing its investments in the plastics industry, it looks for mold companies that have a good fit with the hot-runner business. “In some special niche areas where the mold and hot runner are manufactured as in packaging, having these businesses makes a lot of sense. Foboha fits that business strategy,” Moss said.

“Foboha manufactures precision molds for critical applications, and it has the cube mold technology developed for ultra-high technical products,” Moss stated. “Here we see an opportunity to increase the company’s exposure to high-volume applications as in packaging and medical. The Männer hot-runner systems will add something to Foboha’s capabilities, as well. Priamus can add its sensor controls and software technologies to monitor quality and automate process settings for critical applications such as are found in the medical market. Synventive’s activeGate technology controls the flow of plastics into each cavity—a natural connection with the Priamus technology—to get a closed loop system in the mold. This additional intelligence in the mold gives us an advantage in the marketplace. That’s a powerful package we can put together.”

Foboha’s moldmaking operations and the Barnes Group’s hot-runner operations in China will give the Molding Solutions business greater opportunities in that geographical region. “We’ve got a lot of locations around the globe, and we see many advantages to that. Everyone is very excited about it going forward,” said Moss, adding that each brand in the Molding Solutions business unit will maintain its identity. “From our perspective, these brands are very important names in the industry, and will maintain a strong brand presence in the market.” 

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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