Wilbert Plastic Services Inc., a major injection moulder and industrial thermoformer, has a new financial owner.
Alleghany Capital Corp., a subsidiary of publicly traded investment company Alleghany Corp., has acquired Belmont, NC-based WPS under a new subsidiary, Piedmont Manufacturing Group LLC.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
WPS was privately held by more than 120 shareholders. President and CEO Greg Botner will remain, as will the company’s 600 employees.
Botner said the company’s former shareholders had owned the company since it was founded in 1966.
“Our shareholder base wasn’t that keen to invest in the business again, they wanted liquidity,” Botner said in a telephone interview.
“In this business you have to have a long-term growth plan, which is why we chose Alleghany. We had other options,” said Botner.
WPS sold its automotive business to Engineered Plastic Components Inc. in April 2019. This sale included injection molding facilities in Bellevue, Ohio and Lebanon, Kentucky, and an engineering center in Troy, Michigan.
After selling the company’s auto part, WPS was able to reorganize and improve its finances in preparation for the sale of the remaining operations, said Botner.
The deal with Alleghany can make people feel déjà vu. For the first time since 2009, the Wilbert plastics processing and graves shops are again under one roof.
Wilbert Funeral Services Inc. (WFSI), based in Overland Park, Canada, parted ways with Wilbert Inc. in 2009. Alleghany acquired WFSI in 2017.
“While WPS shares a common history with Wilbert Funeral Services and remains a supplier to Wilbert Funeral Services, the two companies differ with very different skills and customers,” said Udi Toledano, chairman of Alleghany Capital.
“As a result, there are no plans to combine WPS and WFSI, which is reflected in the creation of Piedmont Manufacturing as our fifth platform company in Alleghany Capital’s industrial segment,” said Toledano.
Historically, the Wilbert plastics business began as Thermoform Plastics Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota, making plastic liners for Wilbert’s concrete vaults. The company grew rapidly in the 1990s and early 2000s, with acquisitions such as Alltrista Corp.’s thermoforming business. in 2001 and injection moulder Easley Custom Plastics in 2011.
Today WPS supplies customers in industry, trade, transportation, leisure, medicine and other sectors. The company’s capabilities include design and engineering, painting, robotic trimming, logistics and inventory management.
Botner said WPS had thermoforming sales of $ 67 million and injection molding sales of approximately $ 100 million in 2020. WPS performs injection molding in Harrisburg, NC and Easley, SC, and thermoforming in Belmont, NC, and White Bear Lake, Minn. by.
Plastics News ranks Wilbert 28th among North American injection moulders and 113th among injection moulders in the region.
David Van Geyzel, President and CEO of Alleghany Capital, said in a press release that Alleghany has a “quasi-autonomous operating model” and the new ownership will have “no impact on the day-to-day operations of WPS”.
Rob Hulick, Principal at Alleghany Capital, added that the new owners expect “the company will be given the resources and follow-up capital to invest in organic initiatives and additional acquisitions”.