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November 1, 2007

2 Min Read
SMS announce sales of BGE at the K

In a deal officially announced at the K, SMS has sold off the last vestige of its plastics unit, Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering (BGE) to a group of senior managers plus two private investors who counted BGE as a longstanding customer from their previous venture. John Sharood, chairman of what will now be called Gloucester Engineering, and Dick Murphy, vice chairman, joined with eight senior managers, including Carl Johnson, president and CEO of BGE, to purchase the maker of blown- and cast-film and converting technology from German metals-processing equipment manufacturer, SMS (Düsseldorf). SMS had already divested pipe/profile/sheet extruder manufacturer Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik to Swedish investment business, Triton (Stockholm) and Battenfeld Injection Molding to German investor Adcuram (Münich), leading many to speculate on the future of BGE with SMS.

“We just put two and two together and realized [SMS] probably would be selling [Battenfeld Gloucester] in the future,” Sharood explained to MPW, saying negotiations began in January of this year, with the deal finalized on Oct. 29—the same day Sharood arrived at the K.

Sharood’s investment vehicle is called Mousam Ventures, and along with Murphy, it undertook a management buyout of EGS Gauging, purchasing the maker of web measurement and controls from Invensys. In September 2006, it sold the business to Thermo Scientific (Waltham, MA). EGS had a longstanding relationship with BGE as a supplier. “I’ve known Gloucester for many years,” Murphy said, “and it just seemed like a good opportunity.”

According to Sharood, other than dropping Battenfeld from the company name, there will be no immediate changes to the firm, with the plan moving forward to pursue the new technology and services path undertaken by Johnson. Here at the K, that has included the EFT (encapsulated feed technology) and new Cast 3000 cast-film line.

BGE will maintain headquarters, R&D, and manufacturing in Massachusetts, as well as its satellite offices in Vienna, the U.K., Italy, China, and Singapore. According to Sharood, it has approximate annual sales of $100 million and 300 employees.—[email protected]

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