Funeral Industry News

Wilbert Plastics Buys Injection Molder United Southern Industries

March 8, 2010

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Wilbert Plastics Buys Injection Molder United Southern Industries

imageWilbert Plastics Services Inc. has acquired United Southern Industries Inc., an injection molder based in Forest City, N.C.

Terms of the deal, announced March 5, were not disclosed.

?The acquisition of United Southern allows us to expand our manufacturing footprint in the southeast U.S. region,? Greg Botner, president and CEO of Belmont, N.C.-based Wilbert, said in a March 5 news release.

United Southern officials were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, Wilbert is closing a thermoforming plant in Winthrop, Iowa, according to a report from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette’s Web site. According to the report, which quotes a statement from Wilbert, the plant will close by mid-year, eliminating 117 jobs. Work will move to plants in Minnesota and North Carolina.

The company blamed “dramatic changes in demand and economic conditions within the industry.” The plant, which supplied Deere & Co. and other customers, has nine machines.

United Southern makes components for markets including home appliances, automotive, building materials, consumer products, lawn and garden, and packaging. It employs 245 at two plants.

Manufacturing services include coinjection, gas-assisted injection molding, insert molding, multishot molding and thermoplastic injection, as well as tooling, prototyping and painting.

United Southern ranked 147th in Plastics News? most recent survey of North American injection molders, with sales of $30 million.

Wilbert is a national supplier to the agricultural, automotive, building products, industrial equipment, consumer products, electronics, health-care, recreational vehicle/watercraft, waste management and custom parts markets.

It moved its headquarters from Broadview, Ill., to Belmont earlier this year, and said it would spend spend $5.7 million on improvements during the next three years ? including adding capacity at its thermoforming plant there.

In 2009, Wilbert Inc., the holding company of Wilbert Plastics Services and burial vault maker Wilbert Funeral Services Inc., spun off the burial vault business. The vault business continues to be based in Broadview and buys thermoformed plastic vault liners from Wilbert Plastic Services.

Wilbert Plastic Services ranked 18th in Plastics News? most recent thermoformers ranking, and 62nd among North American injection molders, with combined sales for those operations estimated at $191 million. The company employs about 1,200 at seven plants in the United States.