Aug 20, 2023


Updated: Clayens Group is acquiring injection molder Parkway Products LLC in a move that gives the new owner a larger platform to continue growth.

The deal includes eight locations in the United States and one in Mexico serving industrial, infrastructure, agriculture, aerospace, defense, transportation and health care markets.

Greenville, S.C.-based Parkway makes precision plastic and metal components through what the company describes as "five niche process technologies": thermoplastic molding, thermoset molding, machining, high-performance polymer molding and magnesium thixomolding.

"I think it's all about the customers and our people. And I think it's good for both. I think that's the primary message. Our combined capabilities are better given the ability for us to now share and leverage advanced technologies. And we'll have more geographic reach to serve people where they want to be served," Parkway CEO Andrew Green said in an April 12 interview.

Private equity firm One Equity Partners owns Clayens Group and is buying Parkway Products from fellow private equity firm Heartwood Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close this quarter.

Parkway, which has been owned by Heartwood for eight years, was in the early stages of putting itself up for sale, but Clayens' interest accelerated the process.

"The acquisition of Parkway Products creates synergies that enable first-class production of high-performance polymers, composites and precision metals that enhances both companies' technical expertise and overall client reach," Clayens CEO Eric Pisani said in a statement.

Along with the Parkway Products deal, Clayens also acquired a Crystal Lake, Ill., medical injection molding operation. Clayens did not reveal the seller of that facility, but a local news report noted that a Cardinal Health plant that had been slated to close is being taken over by an unnamed company.

"The purchase of the Crystal Lake facility helps achieve our strategic goal of boosting our health care capabilities by expanding manufacturing capacity in the United States," Pisani said.

After the acquisitions, Clayens will have annual sales of 600 million euros ($855 million) and 31 facilities in Europe, North America and Northern Africa.

Pisani said Clayens is well positioned to become one of the leaders in global precision plastic components manufacturing.

Parkway brings more than 750 workers to Clayens.

"It makes a lot of sense. They were looking for a similar company in the advanced technology space in our market, and a North American platform combined with a European platform would be a really nice step forward for both companies," Green said.

"We have technologies to cross-sell. We have customers that operate in Europe on one hand or the United States on the other. We have customer relationships to grow, and we have technologies to leverage. There will be a lot of cross-selling," he continued.

Heartwood Partners acquired Parkway Products in 2015. The company was started in 1946, and company management along with Oxford Financial Group bought out the founding Willig family in 2006.

Heartwood Partners, during its ownership, made three acquisitions to expand geographic reach and built "meaningful scale and capacity," the former owner said.

The Crystal Lake business, meanwhile, is housed in a 473,000-square-foot building that includes "clean room operations and significant capacity for growth and is primarily involved in production of plastic-based products for the medical sector, such as medical waste containers and syringes for leading health care players," Genas, France-based Clayens said.

"These transactions are the result of strategic growth initiatives identified as part of our investment in Clayens in December 2022, proving OEP's assessment of the company as a solid investment platform," said Konstantin Ryzhkov, managing director at One Equity Partners, in a statement. "The Parkway and Crystal Lake acquisitions give Clayens strategic scale in North America and further diversify its customer base and technical capabilities."

Stout Capital LLC was the exclusive financial adviser to Parkway, with Managing Director Michael Benson and Director Michael Brocious leading the deal team.

Parkway was No. 75 in the latest Plastics News ranking of North American injection molders with estimated 2022 sales of $125 million. Clayens, meanwhile, had 2022 sales of 395 million euros ($431 million) and 3,900 employees.

Clayens, with 20 locations primarily in Europe, adds Parkway sites in Atlanta; Seneca and Westminster, S.C.; Asheville, N.C.; Greeneville, Tenn.; Rockford, Ill.; Fort Collins and Loveland, Colo.; and Saltillo, Mexico.

"We're taking a dramatic step forward in scale and the beneficiaries are our customers and our people," Green said. "With a platform in North America now, that opens the door to all sorts of bolt-on acquisitions that are possible once you have a platform in place."

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