A. Schulman Announces Acquisition of ECM Plastics, Inc., a U.S.-Based Producer of Custom Color, Specialty Additive Masterbatch and Niche Engineered Plastics Products; and Sale of Bellevue, Ohio, Compounding Facility

-- Acquisition of Massachusetts-based plastics compounder enhances A. Schulman's capabilities in growing markets such as personal care and cosmetics

-- Expands U.S. footprint and technical expertise in color matching and custom compounding in higher-value-added specialty compounds

-- Company also announces sale of Bellevue, Ohio, facility to Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers, Inc.

Aug 20, 2012, 08:00 ET from A. Schulman, Inc.

AKRON, Ohio, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A. Schulman, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: SHLM) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ECM Plastics, Inc., a privately owned, leading plastics compounder located in Worcester, Massachusetts, for $36.5 million.  ECM Plastics, Inc. generates approximately $40 million in annual sales. After expected synergies, operating margins are projected to exceed 10%, with operating profit per pound to surpass 15 cents.  The transaction is expected to close in early September pending the completion of closing requirements.

"With ECM's expertise in custom color matching, higher-value compounding and specialty additive formulations, we believe they are an excellent strategic fit as we continue to focus on niche products. We expect ECM to provide strong synergies when combined with our current masterbatch and engineered plastics businesses allowing us to strengthen our position for long-term profitable growth in the United States," said Joseph M. Gingo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

"As we have undertaken this shift to higher-value products in engineered plastics, specialized color and masterbatch, we have exited our legacy plants that were dedicated primarily to serving the volume automotive market," Gingo continued. "In addition to the ECM acquisition, we have announced the sale of our Bellevue facility, which marks the completion of this transformation. We are pleased to have found a strong buyer in Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers."

Gustavo Perez, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the Americas for A. Schulman, stated, "The acquisition of ECM will expand our capabilities in a number of markets, especially personal care and cosmetics, where ECM has a strong presence.  In addition, ECM has a robust technical organization focused on product development that will enhance our ability to introduce new and innovative products to the marketplace."

"The highly talented teams at ECM Plastics and A. Schulman share a commitment to innovation and customer focus that is unsurpassed in our industry," said Wayne Marquis, President of ECM Plastics.  "Becoming part of A. Schulman's global organization is an exciting opportunity to extend our technology offerings to a wider range of customers and markets."

ECM Plastics provides custom color matching, specialty additive formulations and plastic compounding based on a broad range of thermoplastic resins for a variety of demanding markets. Its advanced color development technology ensures consistent critical color matching and high-performance results for applications in consumer goods, cosmetics packaging, coated fabrics, optical products, electronics, bioplastics, geotextiles, sporting goods, toys and novelties, wire and cable products, aerospace components, and medical devices. The one-facility company employs approximately 140 people.

The Company also announced the sale of its vinyl chloride compounding facility in Bellevue, Ohio, to Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers, Inc. ("MCPP"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation.  Terms of the sale were not disclosed; however, A. Schulman will not incur any significant gain or loss on the sale.  The sale will allow A. Schulman to continue its U.S. focus on higher-value technical products in keeping with its global strategy, while MCPP will expand its presence in North America's vinyl chloride compounding market.   

For more information about the pending acquisition and integration of ECM with A. Schulman, visit shlm-ecmprofile.com.

About A. Schulman, Inc.

A. Schulman, Inc. is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins headquartered in Akron, Ohio. The Company's customers span a wide range of markets such as packaging, consumer products, industrial and automotive, among others.  The Company employs about 3,100 people and has 33 manufacturing facilities globally.  A. Schulman reported net sales of $2.2 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2011.  Additional information about A. Schulman can be found at www.aschulman.com.

Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

A number of the matters discussed in this document that are not historical or current facts deal with potential future circumstances and developments and may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or current facts and relate to future events and expectations. Forward-looking statements contain such words as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and include known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which management is unable to predict or control, that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements, and that could adversely affect the Company's future financial performance, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • worldwide and regional economic, business and political conditions, including continuing economic uncertainties in some or all of the Company's major product markets or countries where the Company has operations;
  • the effectiveness of the Company's efforts to improve operating margins through sales growth, price increases, productivity gains, and improved purchasing techniques;
  • competitive factors, including intense price competition;
  • fluctuations in the value of currencies in major areas where the Company operates;
  • volatility of prices and availability of the supply of energy and raw materials that are critical to the manufacture of the Company's products, particularly plastic resins derived from oil and natural gas;
  • changes in customer demand and requirements;
  • effectiveness of the Company to achieve the level of cost savings, productivity improvements, growth and other benefits anticipated from acquisitions, joint ventures and restructuring initiatives;
  • escalation in the cost of providing employee health care;
  • uncertainties regarding the resolution of pending and future litigation and other claims;
  • the performance of the global automotive market; and
  • further adverse changes in economic or industry conditions, including global supply and demand conditions and prices for products.

The risks and uncertainties identified above are not the only risks the Company faces. Additional risk factors that could affect the Company's performance are set forth in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2011. In addition, risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or that it believes to be immaterial also may adversely affect the Company. Should any known or unknown risks or uncertainties develop into actual events, or underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, these developments could have material adverse effects on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations.


SOURCE A. Schulman, Inc.