AKRON—M. Sacks International Inc. has signed a global licensing agreement with a tire equipment maker that folded last year that will allow Sacks to sell the spare parts and machinery from the former company.
Sacks reached the pact with Scantland Industries Inc., a Copley, Ohio-based firm that had a 30-year history in the tire industry until closing its doors about 18 months ago, according to Mark Cramer, M. Sacks vice president of sales. He talked about the deal during the International Tire Exhibition and Conference, held Sept. 16-18 in Akron.
Cramer, who worked at Scantland for more than 10 years before joining Sacks, said Scantland made tire building machines, bladder curing presses and had some newer technology to make aviation tire producing equipment.
“Being a global manufacturer, there's a lot of people out there with their machinery that have not had the ability to get spare parts for their equipment,” he said.
M. Sacks is a manufacturers' representative and distributor that has a 5,000-sq.-ft. facility in Akron to warehouse products, including a large stock of parts for McNeil & NRM Inc. tire presses.
It also is the representative in the Western Hemisphere for Indian tire equipment maker Larsen & Toubro Ltd., which is a key to Sacks' licensing deal with Scantland. L&T owns the rights to make certain McNeil mechanical tire presses and also has its own technology for hydraulic tire curing presses.
“What we're hoping to do is take (the Scantland) catalog of business and through our partnership with L&T in India, we will take to the global market the Scantland products,” Cramer said.
Working with L&T, he said that Sacks will be able to “service the existing Scantland customers that are in dire need of spare parts,” along with the possibility of making new machines using the technology as well.
“We see some opportunities with the aviation tire building designs,” he said. “Some of their older technologies—like for motorcycle tire building—we see some opportunities for that equipment both in South America and in Asia.”
In addition, L&T will look at potentially blending Scantland technology with existing L&T know-how. “There are certain concepts and designs that L&T has that are fantastic and the same thing from Scantland,” Cramer said. “If you can incorporate both designs into one machine, you can have a higher-value machine.”
Brian Weber had joined Scantland in 1981, became president in February 2003 and majority owner of the company in early 2006, before shutting down the business in May 2007.
“Basically, I took over a dying ship and couldn't make it work,” Weber said.
Business started deteriorating in 2001 and never recovered. Part of the reason for Scantland's demise, he said, was the increasing amount of machinery being made in low-cost, overseas locations. “A lot of people wanted to buy my technology but they wanted to get it manufactured overseas,” Weber said. “I explored that, but I couldn't find someone I was comfortable with.”
Since closing Scantland, Weber said he sold some spare parts, but the firm's proprietary technology “sat in a drawer.”
He's been exploring the sale of the technology for several months, and the deal with Sacks seemed like a good fit because of Cramer's background with Scantland.
It took this long to hammer out the pact because a bank held a lien on Scantland's technology to secure a prior loan, Cramer said. “Scantland has a debt, and they pretty much want to get the bank satisfied on this debt. Our goal is we have a licensing agreement and we want to have ownership of that technology at the end of the term.”
Weber said the deal is for three years with an option for a longer term if necessary. He said once the licensing agreement brings in a certain dollar amount, which wasn't revealed, the technology would be transferred to Sacks; until then, it stays with Scantland.