Revere Plastics growing in automotive market with move, acquisition
January 8, 2019
Plastic News By AUDREY LAFOREST
Injection molder Revere Plastics Systems LLC is following through on plans to diversify into the automotive market with a move to metro Detroit and a recent acquisition.
Revere, previously headquartered at its manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, moved into a roughly 2,000-square-foot leased office space in Novi, Mich., in April.
CEO Glen Fish cited proximity to the automotive industry and the ability to tap into the local talent pool as two big reasons for the move to Michigan. Approximately five executives work out of the Novi office.
In addition to the new headquarters, Revere announced Jan. 4 it had acquired certain operations and assets of Tier 1 automotive supplier Sur-Flo Plastics & Engineering Inc.’s Fraser, Mich., facility. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Revere has hired the 114,500-square-foot facility’s 111 employees. Going forward, Sur-Flo will not remain a company, Fish said during a Jan. 7 phone interview with Plastics News.
Livonia, Mich.-based Vari-Form Group, formerly known as Crowne Group, was the parent company of Sur-Flo.
Sur-Flo manufactured large-tonnage injection molded parts and assemblies primarily for the automotive industry, including fascia brackets, radiator and front grille support systems and molded-in-color interior components, among other parts. Customers included automakers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
“[Sur-Flo] had a very good track record operationally. It was obviously very strategic to our diversification efforts that we’ve been working on,” Fish said. But Sur-Flo “had gone through some challenges,” he explained, including a reduction in volume as programs shifted and rolled off.
“As they went through their rough period again … they had not put any salesforce out in the market, so we’re pretty excited to go and help sell that capacity back because they had done probably 25 percent more volume through that facility in the past,” Fish said.
Revere predominantly supplies plastic components for the appliance industry, serving customers such as Whirlpool Corp. The company has been steadily trying to grow the automotive portion of the business, however, doing so mostly organically up to this point.
“But this obviously gives us a big jumpstart with customers that we didn’t previously do business with,” Fish said, adding that the acquisition represents Revere’s “first foray into being a Tier 1 supplier.”
Through the deal, Revere acquired 35 injection molding machines, ranging from 45 tons to a whopping 3,300 tons, as well as other equipment for secondary operations such as post-mold assembly and vibration welding.
The additional injection molding machines bring Revere’s companywide total to about 265, Fish said, with clamping forces starting at 25 tons.
“Our previous top end was 1,880 tons, and so we do very well in the large-tonnage capacity in general as a company,” he said of the addition of a 3,300-ton press. “Being able to increase that range is pretty strategic for ourselves as well as to open some existing capacity in those ranges where we’ve had to buy presses in the past.”
Revere, owned by French private equity firm Ardian, has four additional plants including Clyde, Ohio; Jeffersonville, Ind.; Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and Brampton, Ontario. The company also has a sales office in St. Joseph, Mich.
Annual sales for Revere, which employs around 1,150 people, are estimated at $250 million, Fish said. In PN’s most recent ranking of North American injection molders, the company comes in at No. 42.
“Our strategy is to continue to grow,” he said, adding that the company is “very, very inquisitive and active in the mergers and acquisition space.”
Outside of automotive and appliance, Fish said the company is evaluating at least a half dozen end markets for potential growth.
“Many of these end markets we can serve out of existing facilities, so we’re looking at how to penetrate an end market that has some cross-selling opportunities with other divisions,” he said.