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Unique expands into Canada with acquisition

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LONDON, Ontario—Unique Fabricating Inc. has acquired Intasco Corp., a Canada-based automotive adhesive supplier, for $21.8 million in a deal finalized April 29.

Unique Fabricating CEO John Weinhardt said the Intasco business will operate as Unique-Intasco. The firm specializes in material conversion of pressure-sensitive products such as film, label stock and foams, as well as adhesives and automotive die-cuts with a specialty in interior and exterior attachment systems. The company works with rubbers, foams, plastics and adhesives.

Weinhardt said Intasco is a specialist in certain types of precision rotary die-cutting, most of it including internal and external dual attachment tapes that demand cutting to tight tolerances and specific shapes. The executive added that Unique does not have a current presence in this area of rotary die-cutting.

The acquisition marks Unique's first manufacturing presence in Canada. Intasco's primary facility is in London, with a second in Port Huron, Mich. The acquisition gives Unique—which is based in Auburn Hills, Mich.—11 plants; two in Mexico, one in Canada and eight in the U.S.

“It's a very useful or productive expansion for us because we sell some product into Canada,” Weinhardt said. “We have a very broad sweep of products we offer, and with manufacturing in Canada—and in particular in Ontario—it gives us a better base from which to expand our other product sales into the Canadian vehicle and component market. And then conversely we offer Intasco access to a much broader customer base in the lower 48 and Mexico where we already have a well-established presence.”

According to Unique's news release, Intasco generated about $17.8 million in revenues with net income of about $2.6 million based on unaudited financial results through Jan. 31. Unique said Intasco is a 3M-preferred converter.

Intasco mainly serves the automotive market, but Weinhardt said Unique sees opportunity for Intasco's technology in the appliance market, where Unique has a solid presence.

“Appliance in particular is a substantial user of dual-sided attachment tape,” Weinhardt said. “We anticipate expanding Intasco beyond automotive to include the appliance industry going forward.”

The executive added that all of Intasco's 45 employees will transfer with the business, except former owner Craig Combe, who is retiring.

“We have a strategy of continuing to add products and processes that we can offer our existing customers and can also take us into new markets,” Weinhardt said. “Oftentimes we develop them ourselves, but when we can find an attractive acquisition partner, we're happy to do it that way as well. Intasco just offered us that kind of an opportunity, where we can take something that we already do with a different variation on that theme that allows us to broaden our product offering for our customer base.”

Weinhardt confirmed Unique's plan to shut down its plant in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was completed in the second week of January. The firm announced the decision in October 2015 with 30 employees affected by the move, who received severance pay and outplacement assistance, according to Weinhardt.