WHITMORE LAKE, Mich.—Swedish rubber compounder Hexpol A.B. has made its first North American plastics acquisition, buying the plastics compounding business of RheTech Inc. for $112 million.
RheTech is based in Whitmore Lake, operating a plant there. It also operates plants in Fowlerville, Mich.; Sandusky, Ohio; and Blacksburg, S.C. The business employs 212 and posted sales of $117 million in 2013.
The unit's primary products are polypropylene-based compounds for the automotive market. It also ranks among North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to an estimate by Plastics News, a sister publication to Rubber & Plastics News.
Hexpol President Georg Brunstam said in a statement that RheTech “is a very good complement to our present polymer compounding business.”
Malmo, Sweden-based Hexpol currently does plastic and rubber compounding in Europe and rubber compounding in North America.
In 2010, Hexpol paid more than $200 million for Burton, Ohio-based Excel Polymers, the rubber compounding business of plastics compounding leader PolyOne Corp. Earlier this year, Hexpol added Portage Precision Polymers Inc—a rubber compounder in Mogadore, Ohio—and Kardoes Rubber Co.—a Lafayette, Ala.-based rubber compounder—to its North American holdings for a combined $45 million.
Hexpol officials said in 2011 that it was looking for a North American plastics acquisition. The firm employs 3,700 worldwide and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. In addition to rubber and plastics materials, Hexpol makes heat exchanger and other systems for the automotive, energy and medical industries.
Hexpol is buying RheTech from the Orley family, which founded the firm in Detroit in 1968.