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Global M&A Targets US Plastics Companies
Time:2018-07-23 15:29:35    Page view (622)

Three US plastics industry experts talked about the ups and downs of global growth at the 2016 US Plastics News Managers' Forum in Florida, USA, February 15-17.
    The global expansion is not easy for the Wisconsin injection molder EvcoPlastics Inc.
    Dale Evans, president of the company, said: "I visited China in the mid-1980s because I wanted to develop a local mold manufacturing business. We finally built a mold factory in South China. But you must know the cultural differences."
    Evans led Evco along the way and recently won the "Best Processing Enterprise of the Year" award from Plastics News of the United States. Other challenges facing global development include language barriers and the different financial operations of Asian companies, he said.
    The owner of PreciseMold&Plate, a mold maker in Indiana, and CEODon Dumoulin, said the company's factory in Mexico provides workers with three meals a day. In China, Evco specializes in providing staff quarters. These home-made benefits are very rare in American factories.
    Evans concluded that success depends ultimately on people, and each company is a company of people. But even with the people-oriented development path, there are still challenges. Evans finally created the Asian business on its own because of the lack of trust in the partners.
RickWeil, general manager of MesirowFinancial in Chicago, said economic growth will also take place in the form of mergers and acquisitions. Weil has participated in more than 100 M&A transactions in Mesirow's 16 years. "In this [plastic processing] industry, there is no one-day M&A activity. There are already many competitors acquired, and private equity is the driving force."
    Dumoulin, who acquired Precise in 2013, said that successful mergers and acquisitions require some effort. "The challenge for any merger is due diligence, making sure you do the right thing. Until you actually run the company, you are not sure what you got."
    The former Dumoulin company acquired a Swiss company that produces insulin pumps. But the buyer did not know that the company had regulatory problems. This made it impossible for the buyer to sell the company's insulin pump in the United States for two and a half years.
Weil said recent mergers and acquisitions trends indicate that European and Asian buyers are now targeting US acquisitions.
    He explained: "Compared to the rest of the world, the United States and other countries in North America are safe places to operate. There are many foreign companies that are breaking through the gates to grab the United States."
    Recently, Dumoulin received an offer from four private equity firms (two US companies and two Japanese companies). On the eve of the meeting, a representative of the Saudi royal family contacted him to express his willingness to purchase.
    Dumoulin said: "The world is becoming a big market. The future will be full of challenges."
    Weil said private equity firms have provided stable capital and flexible financial support. However, there is still an imbalance between buyers and sellers of plastics processing, and interested buyers are more than the number of sellers who are interested in selling.


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