R.L. Hudson & Co. and Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co.'s match made in heaven apparently won't make it to the altar. At least for now.
But they remain good friends.
Too bad that's it, instead of the impending marriage of the two companies.
It looked like such a good combination.
On one side there's the successful company that develops and distributes molded rubber and plastic components, hose, seals and O-rings in America-that would be R.L. Hudson-but has most of them produced in lower-cost nations, especially China. The Broken Arrow, Okla., company has a reputation for innovation in design and business acumen.
Its mate was to have been a steady, traditional U.S. manufacturer, Grand River, which produces lathe-cut seals, extruded rubber products and drive belts. Grand River is known as a service-oriented manufacturer that treats its employees well.
The companies have known each other and worked together for years. Frankly, their principals-Rick Hudson at R.L. Hudson, and Richard Selip and Joseph Misinec of Grand River-are some of the more interesting and innovative people in the rubber business.
Hudson wants a U.S. manufacturing base, and Selip and Misinec were looking for a partner with shared values, since neither have family that wants to succeed them at Grand River. A perfect match.
Not to be, though.
It was hoped that the deal, which would have been an acquisition by Hudson, would be done by now. But snags developed in the negotiations. Among the problems the principals admit to were governance, the downward slide of the economy and raw material pricing.
Selip and Hudson continue to throw bouquets to each other, though. Selip said both companies are strong, but they decided it was best to continue to operate independently for now. Hudson professes admiration and friendship for Selip, his company and staff.
If timing is everything, maybe the time just isn't right for this combination. But perhaps someday...