Target: Moll Ramos
Sponsor: Monomoy Capital Partners
Seller: Moll Industries Inc.
Legal Adviser: Sponsor: Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl LLC; Seller: Andrews Kurth LLP
The New York-based lower middle market firm recently bought the operations of Moll Ramos from Moll Industries Inc., and folded the business into Fortis Plastics. Moll Ramos operates an 136,000 square foot injection molding facility, which makes appliance components such as egg trays for refrigerators.
One of the primary drivers for the investment was the facility’s location in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, about 50 miles west of Monterrey, in an industrial zone that includes the manufacturing operations of appliance maker Whirlpool Corp., already a customer of Fortis Plastics. The industrial zone also includes operations of agricultural equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. and Carrier Corp., a maker of air conditioning and heating equipment. In addition, Mabe Mexico, a current Moll Ramos customer that ranks as the world’s third-largest consumer appliance company, has a presence there as well. Mabe Mexico is the manufacturer of the GE Appliance and Kenmore brand appliances sold in the United States.
The expansion into Mexico was part of Monomoy Capital’s original investment thesis when it formed Fortis Plastics in late 2008 because many U.S. companies have a presence there in order to take advantage of cheaper labor costs, Singh said. The Moll Ramos acquisition gives Fortis Plastics an outpost that is close to both existing and potential customers. The proximity also offers Fortis Plastics an edge over competitors with plants based in China because the platform is able to deliver its products quicker and at cheaper freight costs, Singh said.
Monomoy Capital is now looking for Fortis Plastics add-ons in the western and northeastern United States for a similar reason, to be closer to existing and potential customers, Singh said. The firm, however, is not currently engaged in any talks with targets located in those regions.
Singh declined to discuss the price or financing of the Moll Ramos deal.
Monomoy Capital formed Fortis Plastics in December when it bought and merged the custom molding units of Leggett & Platt Inc., and Atlantis Plastics Inc., for $25 million and $20.7 million, respectively. Fortis Plastics now owns eight plants in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas and Mississippi, as well as in Mexico.