TORONTO — A new company, National Rubber Technologies, has arisen from the ashes of the old NRI Industries Inc.
The creation of National Rubber Technologies was announced with a press release Feb. 26. The new company, according to the release, will focus mostly on the former NRI line of products, including Synar-brand reinforced rubber rolls and sheets, QuietDown acoustic control floor underlay, LoadGrip friction mats, and anti-slip and anti-fatigue mats.
The firm also will continue to make original equipment die-cut and injection molded automotive goods for Ford Motor Co. National Rubber Technologies has dropped all OE contracts with other auto makers, according to Business Development Manager Andy Pattenden.
National Rubber Technologies is the latest version of the company founded as National Rubber Co. in 1927. In September 2006, NRI filed for reorganization under the Companies´ Creditors Arrangement Act, the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11.
At the time, NRI President Al Power said he anticipated an expedited reorganization, about three to four months, while the company searched for an appropriate buyer willing to purchase the company whole.
In late October, however, NRI announced it would leave the auto parts business, close two of its four plants and lay off about 425 of its 550-600 workers. The company´s inability to find a buyer and the strengthening of the Canadian dollar, which meant rising production costs against the revenue NRI received from its mostly American clients, necessitated the move, Power said at the time.
The new company has two factories with a total of 310,000 square feet of manufacturing space, according to Pattenden. Like NRI, National Rubber Technologies is the largest rubber recycler in Canada, and will convert more than 1 million scrap tires and more than 20 million pounds of tire plant waste annually into high-value products, the press release stated.
Pattenden had no immediate information as to the total number of workers at National Rubber Technologies.
Kinderhook Industries, a New York-based private equity firm that manages $470 million in committed capital, is the financial backer of National Rubber Technologies and has majority control of the firm. Pattenden said he didn´t know the actual percentage of Kinderhook´s ownership.
National Rubber Technologies retains the same managerial team as NRI, including Power and Pattenden, but Kinderhook executives hold positions on the board of directors of the firm, Pattenden said.