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Universal Plastics buys custom thermoformer W. Kintz Plastics

Jay Kumar

Jay Kumar

Universal Plastics Group is bulking up its thermoforming division with the acquisition of custom thermoformer W. Kintz Plastics Inc. in upstate New York.

Terms of the deal, which was finalized June 11, were not disclosed.

W. Kintz Plastics specializes in heavy gauge, vacuum, pressure and twin-sheet thermoforming to make custom plastic parts used in the medical and transportation industries, among other markets. The company, founded in 1976 by Wynn Kintz, operates out of an 80,000-square-foot facility in Howes Cave, N.Y., near Albany, and employs about 90.

Universal Plastics said no material changes will be made to staff or the facility.

“Kintz was a perfect fit for us because they have a reputation of making extremely high-quality parts,” Jay Kumar, president of Universal Plastics Group, said in a June 11 phone interview.

W. Kintz Plastics ranks No. 90 on Plastics News’ annual listing of North American thermoformers, with estimated sales of $11 million in 2017.

This is the first acquisition for Universal Plastics this year, following a somewhat steady pace of buying activity that began not long after Kumar and his father, Sunil, purchased Holyoke, Mass.-based custom thermoformer Universal Plastics Corp. back in 2012.

In addition to Universal Plastics Corp. and W. Kintz Plastics, the group owns Mayfield Plastics Inc., another thermoformer in Sutton, Mass., that Universal Plastics bought in 2013.

Going forward, both W. Kintz Plastics and Mayfield Plastics will be rebranded as Universal Plastics Albany and Universal Plastics Sutton, respectively, to consolidate the group’s thermoforming division, which now employs 300 workers across the three thermoforming facilities.

“The driving force really is that we want to become a more complete plastics supplier to our customers, and Kintz brings to the table some really unique capabilities in terms of the size of the machines and in terms of their relationships in the business,” Pia Kumar, the group’s chief strategy officer, said in a phone interview.

“It was a way for us to expand capacity and hopefully create some efficiency, which we can pass along to the customer,” she added.

With the three thermoforming facilities, Jay Kumar said Universal Plastics now has everything from “small machines that can make parts that are a couple of inches by a couple of inches all the way up to parts that are 9 feet by 14 feet.”

“And that’s really the real synergy of owning these three thermoforming facilities,” he explained. “Our goal is to be, in every space that we enter, the preeminent supplier in that specific space, and we see that the bigger we get, the more value we can provide our customers across processes.”

In December 2017, the group purchased Premium Plastics Solutions LLC, a custom blow molder in Latrobe, Pa., that makes large parts for a range of industries, including medical, garden/lawn equipment, waste management, safety equipment, recreational equipment and water bottles.

Earlier that year, Universal Plastics also bought large-part injection molder Sajar Plastics LLC. The Middlefield, Ohio, company is just under a three-hour drive from Premium Plastic Solution’s Latrobe facility. Sajar Plastics specializes in gas-assist injection molding, straight injection molding and structural foam molding.

Universal Plastics Group employs a total of 500 across the five member companies.

Pia Kumar said the group’s recent acquisitions are partly strategic and partly opportunistic, describing each member company as one piece of a broader puzzle the group is building to be a “one-stop shop supplier.”

“We also do have a strategy where we’re trying to grow both organically as well as inorganically,” she said. “We are acquisitive. We want to acquire businesses, and we want to grow and enter new markets as well as penetrate deeper into the markets we’re in.”

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