SMS sells extrusion machinery businesses

SMS sells extrusion machinery businesses

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (March 13, 2007) — SMS GmbH, which last fall sold its Battenfeld injection press operations, announced March 7 that it has sold its extrusion machinery businesses — Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik GmbH, American Maplan Corp. and Cincinnati Extrusion GmbH — and downstream equipment supplier SMS Extrusion Kempen GmbH. The sale price was not revealed.

Companies included in the deal are: Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd. of Shunde, Guangdong province; Cincinnati Extrusion Ltd. in Dalian, Liaoning province; Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik of Bad Oeynhausen, Germany; American Maplan of McPherson, Kansas; Austria-based Cincinnati Extrusion, plus its U.S. unit, Cincinnati Extrusion Inc. in Erlanger, Kentucky; and SMS Extrusion Kempen in Kempen, Germany.

SMS sold the companies to Triton, a European private equity investment firm. SMS officials said Triton is based in Jersey, England. Triton officials could not be reached for comment.

The sale leaves SMS with just one plastics machinery holding: Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc., which builds film-making equipment in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Battenfeld Gloucester is not part of the deal and continues to be part of SMS, a Düsseldorf-based industrial conglomerate owned by its chairman, Heinrich Weiss, and his family.

The March 7 announcement follows rumors that began after the injection press sell-off in October that Weiss wants to exit plastics machinery to focus on steel-making machinery, the largest business area of SMS.

Several machinery industry sources said SMS is not actively trying to sell Battenfeld Gloucester right now. However, SMS has recently cut a large number of white collar employees in Gloucester and has changed top management there.

SMS spokesman Thomas Isajiw declined to comment beyond the news release.

Pepyn Dinandt, the top executive at SMS Plastics Technology and a member of the SMS managing board, was traveling and not available for comment.

The extrusion companies that SMS is selling have annual sales of about 200 million euros (2.03 billion yuan) and employ about 1,000 worldwide. They make extruders for pipe and profiles, including vinyl windows and wood-plastic composite decking products.(PLASTICS NEWS STAFF

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