Business, Local News

GW Plastics acquired by Swedish company Nolato

Bethel, Royalton facilities expect few changes

By Anne Wallace Allen/VTDigger

A Swedish company has agreed to buy the Bethel-based GW Plastics in a deal that is expected to be final in September.

The publicly traded Nolato develops and produces polymer products such as plastic and silicone for health care, automotive, and consumer electronics companies. The 65-year-old GW Plastics makes precision molds and carries out manufacturing services for the medical device, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical markets.

The purchase price is about $240 million, according to Seeking Alpha.

GW Plastics has seven manufacturing facilities and 1,100 employees, about 360 of them in Vermont. Nolato has about 7,000 employees in Europe, Asia, and North America. In a prepared statement, GW Plastics said it would continue to operate independently under the Nolato-GW brand.

The acquisition won’t affect employment at GW Plastics, said Rebecca Murphy, a corporate marketing specialist for the company. “We have no intention of leaving Vermont and we are actually hiring right now in both our Bethel and Royalton facilities,” Murphy said Aug. 6. “We hope to continue growing and increasing high-tech employment opportunities in the state.”

GW Plastics has posted 10% growth over the past decade and reports annual net sales of about $207 million. A little over four-fifths of its business involves medical devices, according to Plastics Today.

In addition to sites in Bethel and Royalton, GW Plastics has facilities in Arizona, Texas, Mexico, China and its most recent expansion (in February 2019) was on a facility in Ireland, which cost $6.8 million.

“With GW Plastics’ seven global manufacturing facilities joining Nolato’s 25-plus facilities around the world, this acquisition gives Nolato and GW Plastics a solid global position on the three key continents of North America, Asia, and Europe,” GW Plastics said in the statement Aug. 6.

The existing management of GW Plastics will stay with the privately held company. The company has had the same owners and the same leaders since 1983, the statement said. It was founded in 1955.

GW Plastics’ engineering and technology experience will help Nolato grow, said Nolato President and CEO Christer Wahlquis in the prepared statement.

“Together with its size and geographic presence, this provides an ideal strategic combination with Nolato and enables significant market synergies over time,” Wahlquist said.

Completion of the transaction awaits regulatory approvals.

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