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Industry News (Week of 10/22/07)

October 16, 2007
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FLUID RESEARCH ADDS NEW MARKETING MANAGER

Fluid Research, a leading innovator and manufacturer of precision dispensing equipment, has announced the addition of Jeffrey McConnell as marketing manager. McConnell has extensive experience in marketing, sales, and project management. He received his B.A. in Sociological Sciences from California State University at Fullerton and his M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Management in Irvine, CA.

McConnell will manage all aspects of marketing for Fluid Research Corporation’s range of products, including industrial dispensing equipment, material transfer systems, precision pump systems, industrial material handling accessories, and contract manufacturing services. He will also handle company public affairs.

“While we have a solid base of industrial customers, growth in our industry requires sophisticated marketing to attract new users,” said Rich Naruo, president of Fluid Research. “We continue to see a rise in the use of precision dispensing systems for epoxies, silicones, acrylics, polyurethanes and other single- and multiple- component materials,” he said.

For more information, visit www.fluidresearch.com.

LANXESS ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL INTEREST IN LUSTRAN POLYMERS

The Leverkusen, Germany-based chemicals group LANXESS has successfully completed two portfolio adjustments. Effective Sept. 30, 2007, the former Lustran Polymers business unit became part of INEOS ABS, a newly formed joint venture with British chemicals group INEOS.

LANXESS will initially hold a 49% financial interest in the joint venture, while the operating business will be run by INEOS. The minority interest held by LANXESS will be acquired by INEOS in two years’ time as per their agreement. LANXESS will thus withdraw completely from the ABS plastics business.

Also effective Sept. 30, LANXESS has divested its wholly owned subsidiary Borchers GmbH to the OM Group (OMG) of the United States. Borchers, which specializes in additives for coatings, emulsion paints and printing inks, was considered a peripheral business of LANXESS.

For more information, visit www.lanxess.com.

MICHELMAN APPOINTS DOWD AND GUILD TO REPRESENT ITS CHEMICAL SPECIALTIES PRODUCT LINE

Michelman has chosen Dowd and Guild Inc. to represent its Chemical Specialties product line in the Western U.S., which includes California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Arizona and Utah.

Headquartered in San Ramon, CA, Dowd and Guild has warehouses strategically located across the Western U.S. that will stock Michelman products. Michelman customers will see improved delivery times and a greater level of service as a result of the new alliance.

“Dowd and Guild Inc. is a diverse chemical distributor, serving the needs of the coatings, ink, adhesives, and specialty chemical markets in the Western U.S.,” said Lauren Lopez, Michelman’s territory manager. “The company is a powerhouse in its territory, with multiple warehouses, sales and customer service offices. Their current customers have reported a flawless reputation for superior customer service, technical know-how and problem-solving ability. They will be a perfect partner in our ongoing effort to exceed our own customers’ expectations.”

Founded in 1986 by Tom Dowd and Howard Guild, Dowd and Guild Inc. operates in the 11 states west of the Rocky Mountains. The agreement with Michelman went into effect on Oct. 1.

For more information, visit www.michem.com.

RPM PROMOTES FOUR EXECUTIVES TO VICE PRESIDENT

RPM International Inc. has announced the promotions of four executives to vice president. Effective immediately, the promotions include: Russell L. Gordon to vice president – Corporate Planning; Janeen B. Kastner to vice president – Corporate Benefits and Risk Management; Randell McShepard to vice president – Public Affairs; and Thomas C. Sullivan, Jr. to vice president – Corporate Development.

“These promotions recognize the accomplishments and contributions to RPM of each individual in his or her respective area of responsibility, and strengthens our senior management team for our next level of growth,” said Frank C. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer.

Gordon previously served as director of Planning. Prior to joining RPM in 1995, he served in various financial analysis positions with The B.F. Goodrich Co. and began his career with VLSI Technology Inc. as an industrial engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in operations research and industrial engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Kastner joined RPM in 1997 as manager of Benefits and Insurance and most recently served as director of Human Resources and Administration. She was previously employed as a benefits consultant with Watson Wyatt & Company. Kastner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in math and economics from Denison University and a Master of Science degree in management from Purdue University.

McShepard has been RPM’s director of Community Affairs since joining the company in 2001. He previously served as executive director of City Year Cleveland, assistant director of administration and program development for the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission, and supervisor of training services for Vocational Guidance Services in Cleveland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from Baldwin-Wallace College and a master’s degree in urban studies from Cleveland State University.

Sullivan joined RPM’s corporate office in 2003 as director of Corporate Development after serving in various sales and management capacities with RPM subsidiaries from 1987 to 2003, including Republic Powdered Metals, Consolidated Coatings, Tremco Inc. and ESPAN Pte. Ltd./RPM Asia Pte. Ltd., where he was responsible for opening RPM’s first office in the Asian marketplace. Prior to joining RPM in 1987, he worked as a wholesale marketing representative for Armstrong World Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University of Ohio.

For more information, visit www.rpminc.com.

SONOCO ACQUIRES CARAUSTAR'S FIBER CONTAINERS AND PLASTICS ASSETS

Sonoco, a diversified global packaging company, has completed the acquisition of the fiber containers and industrial plastic carriers assets of Caraustar Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSAR). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive in the first full year, and the operations are anticipated to generate approximately $50 million in annualized sales.

The acquisition includes six manufacturing facilities in the U.S. that in the aggregate employ approximately 260 workers. The fiber container operations produce a variety of spiral-wound recycled paperboard containers used to package adhesives and sealants, lubricating grease and a variety of food and non-food products. The plastics operations produce injection-molded and extruded plastic converting cores, thread carriers, film packaging, carpet carriers, and adhesive and sealant products.

“The addition of Caraustar’s fiber containers and plastics operations are a good strategic fit with Sonoco’s global rigid paper and plastics businesses,” said Harris DeLoach, Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The synergies that will come from our combined operations will benefit our customers with greater flexibility, while maintaining the quality and level of service that they have come to expect.”

Sonoco’s rigid paper and plastics operations include more than 60 plants in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company is the world’s largest manufacturer of rigid paperboard containers, producing a variety of round and shaped spiral-wound, recycled paperboard cans, fiber cartridges, single-wrap paperboard containers, and large pails, serving a variety of food and non-food markets. In addition, Sonoco is an innovative solutions provider of rigid plastic containers and products using the latest technology, including blow-molding, extrusion, injection-molding, and thermoforming.

For more information, visit www.sonoco.com.

SPECIALTY COATING SYSTEMS ACQUIRES PARYLENE JAPAN K.K.

Specialty Coating Systems, Inc. (SCS) completed its acquisition of Parylene Japan K.K. (PJKK) on September 14, 2007. PJKK, a joint venture between SCS and Three Bond Co. Ltd., was established in 1990 to provide world-class Parylene conformal coating services and technologies in Japan. Sole ownership of PJKK enables SCS to leverage more of its worldwide resources and capabilities in order to provide the best service and support for its global customers in the medical, automotive, electronics, and military market segments.

Specialty Coating Systems will do business in Japan as Parylene Japan Inc. (Nihon Parylene Kabushiki Gaisha in Japan) and will continue to be led by President Eddie Narita. The 10,000 square-foot Tokyo facility is ISO 9001:2000 certified and includes two Class 10K cleanrooms.

“Our customers in Japan will continue to receive outstanding Parylene coating services,” said Terry Bush, SCS president. “The acquisition of our long-term joint venture further establishes SCS’ foothold in Asia, a key component to SCS’ worldwide growth strategy.”

For more information, visit www.scscoatings.com/locations.

SYRGIS ANNOUNCES PURCHASE OF ORGANIC PEROXIDES BUSINESS FROM NORAC

Syrgis Performance Products has announced the acquisition of the organic peroxides business of Norac Inc., a worldwide specialty chemical company that brings more than $50 million in annual revenue to the Syrgis group. The new organic peroxides company name is Syrgis Performance Initiators.

In addition to manufacturing and distribution facilities in Sweden and Helena, AR, Syrgis acquires considerable technical, sales, and manufacturing staff with the purchase.

“Norac is a great cultural fit with us,” said Syrgis Performance Products’ CEO Andy Harris. “As with all our companies, Norac will remain pure in what it does while preserving its entrepreneurial spirit, high-quality products, exceptional customer service and technical support. Syrgis’ strategy is to ‘invest and grow’ with our businesses, allowing them to be autonomous and build on their strengths, while supported with significant financial backing, consolidated R&D, and top-tier marketing.“

A leader in its respective markets, the Norac business unit is the number-one producer of methyl ethyl ketone peroxides in North America, and ranks third in the world in organic peroxides for plastics and reinforced thermoset composites. A family-run business founded in 1972, the manufacturer produces chemicals that, when used in the making of reinforced and cast polymers, helps them set at room temperature while enhancing their durability.

For more information, visit www.syrgis.com.

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