Masterbatch producer Tosaf USA Inc., whose parent company is headquartered in Israel, has brought its first major production facility in the United States on line.
Construction of the plant, located in Bessemer, North Carolina, commenced two years ago and represents an investment of some €25m, said Giuseppe Giusto, senior vice president and chief operating officer.
At the new facility, which is now fully operative with all the key people in place, the company's entire product mix can be produced.
According to Giusto, the masterbatch market was stagnant with no one investing in new factories and new technology.
"We thought we could bring something new in the form of service, plus our experience and expertise, which drove the decision to build. In addition, we felt we were not servicing the U.S. the way we wanted to. While we sell globally, we were not organized like a global company, which is what we are now currently engaged in doing," Giusto said.
Tosaf's ambition is to become the leading masterbatch producer in the US, although it is already among the top five in North America. The new plant is the first step, said Giusto.
"Color masterbatch is not like resin; you need to be close to your customers to meet their demands. We can now produce the same portfolio as in Israel and Europe. The next step will be to build the same strong organization as we have there, which we will do through acquisitions and adding new production capacity," he said.
In Europe, Tosaf has established a dense network of companies, enabling it to perform colour matches in 20-72 hours and to ship products within four days. It is an approach that has proved extremely successful: Tosaf has doubled its sales over the past eight years, to reach €400m in 2017.
"We intend to provide this service in the U.S. as well. To do that, we will first need to establish the same kind of strong network we already have in Europe," Giusto explained. Tosaf can already provide this level of service from Adtec Colorant, a company in Arlington, Texas, which it bought in 2015, but it will be looking to acquire several small- to medium-sized color masterbatch producers to extend the service to customers across the US.
"Achieving this ambition will require an investment at least four times the amount of the initial investment of €25m," Giusto said. "We plan to accomplish this over the next three to five years."
Tosaf is also looking to build a platform in South America, where the market is growing extremely fast, and in Asia.