PITTSBURGH—DestinHaus Capital, a private equity firm based in San Ramon, Calif., hinted at a name change for Elite Elastomers Inc. when it purchased the niche custom mixing firm in Ripley, Miss., in February.
That rebranding took place in grand fashion at the International Elastomer Conference in Pittsburgh Oct. 5, as the specialty materials compounder announced the new moniker will be Elite Advanced Polymers.
The 50-person company hopes the new name is the "perfect mix" of terms to show off the firm's interest in high-end compounding.
"The company has done very well in the oil and gas area from a marketing standpoint," Andy Claytor, vice president of sales with Elite Advanced Polymers, told Rubber News at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the ACS Rubber Division's IEC. "But now we are really looking to get into niche opportunities—consumer, industrial and medical, among others—where customers are looking for something very different."
Along with the name change, Elite Advanced Polymers is investing in upgrading its research and development, manufacturing technology and personnel to enhance its operations, "going beyond elastomers to broaden its portfolio to include other polymers and products, and expand into other industries"—and investing in Middle America.
"We are very excited about the future possibilities for Elite Advanced Polymers," Murli Nathan, chairman and CEO of Elite Advanced Polymers. "Our plan is to execute ... American ingenuity, best-in-class Japanese innovation, technology and quality systems to revive job growth and the economy in middle America. We have a long-term outlook and plan to add more acquisitions to create a comprehensive set of products and services to better serve our customers.
"We are committed to growing the business and customer base, but more importantly, we are investing in our people, creating a model work culture and committed to being a good citizen in the community."
Elite tries to maintain forward-looking philosophies with its customers, especially those whose products comprise HNBR and fluoroelastomers.
"Where do they want to be three to five years from now? That's what we want to solve for our customers," Claytor said, adding that the company has not yet entered the silicone realm, but "it is something that we are looking at."
"DestinHaus has the (capital) means behind the group in evaluating life sciences, especially from an education standpoint. How do we take this technology and convert it to something more commercial and sell it to people who are on the cutting edge of their industry—that is our focus," Claytor said.
Begun by Steve Glidewell and his wife, Ginger, in the early 2000s, Elite made a name for itself over two decades in the oil and gas, automotive, industrial conveyor belting and consumer-oriented product industries. Elite has a portfolio of swellable elastomers that are used in the completion of fracking wells, supplying both water and oil swell packers.
Glidewell remains a trusted consultant for the portion of Elite now under DestinHaus ownership, through February.
Based in the center of the U.S., Elite Advanced Polymers has a main, combined custom mixing and warehousing facility in Ripley, which comprises three mixing lines (including a color line). The campus also has a research and development facility (part of the DestinHaus transaction) and two buildings that comprise Elite Elastomer Products L.L.C., a finished goods business established in 2016 that remains under Glidewell's ownership.
While oil and gas remains a major portion of Elite Advanced Polymers' custom mixing applications, Elite has seen an area of increased growth in the life sciences market. And life sciences remains an area that DestinHaus would like to grow further—either through expanded capacity with Elite or via future business acquisitions.
DestinHaus Capital, established in 2018, has its roots in a management consulting firm founded by the Nathans 14 years ago, also in California. The original firm strategized with Japanese businesses to accelerate their growth, and as such developed close relationships with those businesses over the years.
The alliances paid off for DestinHaus with the purchase of Elite Elastomers in February.
Elite Advanced Elastomers has about 50 employees.