France's Plastivaloire to acquire US auto parts rival TransNav

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TransNav's Michigan plant in the US

French auto components moulder Groupe Plastivaloire is set to boost its industrial footprint in North America with the acquisition of its US rival TransNav Inc, USA.

In October, Plastivaloire of Langeais, France signed a binding memorandum of understanding confirming the group would purchase 100% of the capital of the US parts moulder headquartered in New Baltimore, Michigan.

Family-owned Plastivaloire, with 27 production and development sites, including plants in Tunisia, Turkey and Mexico, is awaiting approval for the deal from the US antitrust regulators. It expects a decision before the end of this year.

TransNav, run by the Dutch Vreeken family, operates three plants in Danville, Kentucky, at its New Baltimore base in Michigan and near Puebla, Mexico with a workforce of over 580. It has nearly 100 injection moulding machines from 20 – 4,400 tonne clamping force.

Eighty per cent of TransNav’s business comes from auto component production, supplying products such as moulded interior and external trim, wheel trim, and fuel tank parts to major US vehicle builders and global tier one suppliers.

TransNav is still growing and, according to Plastivaloire, is on course to achieve annual sales worth US$105m (€92m) in 2018.

Groupe Plastivaloire said this deal will establish it in the US for the first time, boosting its growth in North America in line with its strategy of internationalisation.  Its takeover of TransNav will accelerate its annual sales which could now reach its 2020 target of €750m by the end of this year, the group said.

This will pass an “important milestone” on the way to Plastivaloire’s next goal of reaching a turnover of €1bn by 2025, according to its chief executive officer Patrick Findeling whose family manages the group.       

The French company points to a number of valuable synergies achieved through its latest acquisition including the firms’ complementary client portfolios and shared technology expertise in tooling and complex injection moulding.

It will also complete the group’s market coverage in Europe and North America, positioning Plastivaloire at the heart of two Mexican vehicle manufacturing hubs with TransNav’s Puebla plant and its own existing operation at San Luis Potosí in central Mexico.

In its October statement on the takeover, the French group  said TransNav executives “will stay strongly involved” in continued development of the business. 

Plastivaloire indicated that its proposed US purchase will be paid in full in cash and debt financing.

Some doubt remains over the future of TransRompa, a joint venture processing business that TransNav formed in 2015 with the Dutch thermoformer and injection moulder Rompa Group of Tilburg, Netherlands.

Plastivaloire has confirmed the deal will include TranNav’s half share of TransRompa, a joint venture moulding business that the US firm formed in 2015. Based in the Netherlands, this business is a partnership with the Dutch thermoformer and injection moulder Rompa Group of Tilburg, Netherlands. 

TransRompa activities initially included component moulding projects at TransNav’s Puebla site in Mexico as well as Rompa’s Czech Republic plant at Vyškov.

Plastivaloire, which employs 5,500 overall, has other plants in Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Spain and Portugal. Overall, the group runs 700 injection machines from 25 to 2,700 tonnes clamping force.

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