Custom compounder Star Plastics Inc. has partnered with private equity firm Akoya Capital Partners to support its “aggressive growth and expansion plans,” the company said in a news release issued yesterday.
Founded in 1988, the Ravenswood, WV–based company provides engineered compounds, product solutions, and services for high-performance applications in the E&E, communications, and appliance sectors. In addition to product formulation expertise and process technology and lab testing capabilities, Star also provides toll compounding and secondary services, and sources and resells a range of engineering resins.
Star Plastics has a global footprint, with strategic partnerships in Asia and Europe. It operates two manufacturing plants in West Virginia and one in Shandong China through a partnership.
Akoya Capital describes itself as a sector-focused private equity firm that invests in industries where it has directly relevant operating experience and domain expertise. By partnering with well-positioned companies and talented management teams, Akoya said that it builds industry-leading companies by developing and executing growth strategies that create meaningful value for all stakeholders. The partnership with Star Plastics will launch Akoya’s custom engineered compounds, specialty products, and elastomers platform, and help to advance Star Plastics’ growth goals and expansion plans.
Commenting on the acquisition in a prepared statement, Star Plastics founder and now Chief Strategic Officer and board member Doug Ritchie noted that the company’s mission will not change. “We chose to partner with the investor group Akoya Capital Partners because it is well-aligned with our company culture. Akoya appreciates the hard work and dedication of our existing team and wants to further our goals by building upon our current company values, staff, and processes.”
Added Bob May, Managing Director at Akoya and new Chairman of the Board of Star Plastics: “We’re excited about the future and look forward to investing in Star’s growth and continued success. Star Plastics is an industry leader and a world-class provider of high-quality, custom-engineered compounds, specialty products, and services that will serve as the ideal anchor investment for Akoya’s compounds platform.”
West Virginia government officials also applauded the news. “Star has continued to grow over its 33-year history in West Virginia, and we’re thrilled for Doug [Ritchie] and Star Plastics for this opportunity to expand,” said Michael Graney, Executive Director of the Department of Economic Development. “We believe that the Appalachian basin is ripe for continued expansion, so we look forward to working closely with Doug and the new leaders of Star Plastics to support the company’s growth, job creation, and overall success moving forward.”
Under new ownership, the Star Plastics name, brand, and leadership team will remain unchanged. Moving forward, the newly acquired company plans to invest heavily in people, technology, and capabilities to support its aggressive growth plans. Ritchie will continue to play a significant role in Star’s future and be a key shareholder while serving on the board. Ritchie will be focused on the company’s strategic growth, developing and exploring future partnerships and acquisitions that will help expand Star Plastics’ product offering and geographic reach.