United Kingdom-venture capital group 3i has invested $8 million in Cannon Rubber Ltd., a car mat and baby products maker.
Cannon Rubber, based in Great Britain, will use the funds to further its growth, the company said.
Annual sales for privately owned Cannon Rubber are $56 million. The manufacturer will expand both production facilities and new product development as it moves toward possibly going public within three to four years.
Cannon Rubber is split into Cannon Automotive and Cannon Babysafe and employs 570.
The automotive side pioneered the use of car mats in the 1950s and now makes 35,000 units a day, retaining 20 percent of the European market.
French glve firm closes
Following a fire at its Rochefort, France, surgical glove plant, Wuhrlin-Sopramed's Amfra subsidiary has closed the unit three months earlier than expected.
The unit had seen sales fall dramatically, following competition from cheaper Malaysian imports, according to the firm.
Guide to safe breathing
A new guide to dust and fume control in the rubber industry has been issued by the United Kingdom Rubber Industry Advisory Committee.
Rubiac said the increased incidence of cancer in the rubber industry is tied to processes that produce dust and fumes.
To help employers reduce risks to staff, Rubiac has introduced a new guidance leaflet, ``Safe to Breathe,'' which gives practical advice on dust and fume control in a range of rubber processes.
Changes in materials, processes, handling and working methods and ventilation control are all covered, as are various rubber processes, according to the report.
A guide to more detailed information on this area is included. For more information, phone: 011-44-1787-881165, or fax: 011-44-1787-313995.
NR prices to peak by 2000
Natural rubber prices are likely to rise over the next 25 years, according to forecasts generated by an economic model constructed by researchers at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The model forecasts that NR prices will peak in 1995 and then fall in 1997 before rising to a new peak by the year 2000.
For a copy of the $50 University of Amsterdam report, ``The Natural Rubber Market-Review, Analysis, Policies and Outlook,'' phone: 011-31-0-20-444-6127; or fax 011-31-0-20-444-6086.
Liberian rubber planters have requested a $2.2 million loan from the European Community to help them rehabilitate the natural rubber industry, following the five-year civil war in the country.
The loan will help rehabilitate 4.5 million trees on 29,640 acres of Liberian-owned plantations, according to Joseph Wilson, executive director of the Rubber Planters' Association of Liberia.
In 1988, just before the war, Liberian rubber exports amounted to 34,000 metric tons of dry rubber, providing 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product, according to government statistics.
Reports from the country indicate rubber trees are being cut down and sold for charcoal.ittings firm
Manuli buys fitting firm
Hose maker Manuli Rubber Industries Srl in Milan, Italy, has bought the Italian hydraulic hose fittings firm Hydrofit S.p.A., which has manufacturing units at Boltiere and Vasto, Italy.
Hydrofit, with 150 workers, had 1994 sales of $15.5 million.
The purchase will enable it to expand its product range in high pressure hydraulic systems, according to Manuli Rubber.
Eurofind buys plantation
The Ivory Coast government has sold the Bettie rubber plantation and factory for $8.8 million to a United Kingdom firm called Eurofind, according to Reuters press agency.
Societe Agricole et Industrielle de Bettie has 5,000 acres under rubber, on a plantation of 6,400 acres.