Breather bag manufacturer Morris Latex Products Inc. is looking to move into new venues within the next few months to expand its product base.
The Noble, Okla.-headquartered company, which has expanded seven times in the last eight years, is talking to one or two manufacturers that could lead to an expansion, according to President and CEO Walter J. Morris.
``We'd like to get into some specialty gloves-not surgical or examination-but medical,'' he said at the International Latex Conference, held July 30-31 in Fairlawn, Ohio. The company is considering other areas, but declined to name them.
At the top of its list are X-ray and chemotherapy radiation gloves, two small niches that could grow significantly with the right marketing, Morris said. He believes chemotherapy gloves in particular could be quite lucrative, if handled properly.
The firm is attempting to move into that segment of the industry by purchasing an interest in a radiation glove maker, starting from scratch or a combination of both, the executive said. He hopes to complete a deal by year-end because Morris Latex has dipping capacity available and it's the ideal time for his firm to expand again.
``Right now, cash is king,'' Morris said, and the company has strong cash reserves. ``So that puts us in a good position.''
Morris Latex would prefer to buy into another company rather than move into the radiation glove industry on its own. ``One company we're talking to is a big player, which would make us a big player right off the bat if we can work something out,'' Morris said.
If the company should venture into anything larger than the radiation glove business, it probably will have to physically expand again, an action that wouldn't be difficult because Morris Latex owns a 20-acre site.
Last year the manufacturer expanded its plant to 75,000 square feet and added about $600,000 in new machinery and two complete batch dip lines. The 22-year-old firm's work force fluctuates between 80 and 100 employees.
Morris Latex makes 15 different rubber latex or neoprene breathing bags in various sizes. The company estimates it has about 70 to 75 percent of the U.S. breather bag industry.