Two to three years ago, the plastics processing landscape in the United States appeared to be a shambles, with almost weekly announcements of liquidations and equipment auctions. Some prognosticators even left a feeling that manufacturing in general had no future in the USA.
Business is far from booming now, but the mood is very different.
One evidence is the movement of large amounts of private equity capital into plastics processors serving the medical market. The biggest move was the acquisition of Phillips Plastics by Kohlberg & Co. early this year. Kohlberg is pumping money into Phillips, financing a major purchase in Europe. Now Phillips Plastics is shopping for an Asia acquisition.
Similarly, Baird Capital Partners (BCP), the Chicago-based buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, and coinvestor River Cities Capital Funds of Cincinnati, OH, are pumping money into Medplast, which is also looking for a broader global footprint. And Spell Capital Partners of Minneapolis is using Spectrum Plastics Group as a launching pad for a major stake in specialty plastics processing for the healthcare, aerospace and defense fields....