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Aurora picks up Elastocon for fourth deal in two years

Materials firm Aurora Plastics LLC has made its fourth acquisition in the last two years by purchasing Elastocon TPE Technologies Inc. of Springfield, Ill.

No purchase price was included in an April 15 news release from Streetsboro, Ohio-based Aurora. Company officials said in the release that the acquisition of Elastocon "continues to expand [Aurora's] comprehensive product line, bringing broader TPE compounding capabilities to the company's portfolio."

"Elastocon brings a broader offering of soft-touch and abrasion-resistant materials," Aurora CEO Darrell Hughes said in the release. "It also deepens our presence and offerings to our valued customers in the medical, packaging, consumer, industrial, automotive and non-automotive transportation markets."

Elastocon's product line "offers an alternative to other materials that might be higher cost and over-engineered," Elastocon President Dave Barkus added.

"We are proud of our odorless, phthalate- and latex-free materials and look forward to working alongside Aurora Plastics to allow us to strengthen our support network for our customers," he said.

Barkus founded Elastocon in 1999. The firm now employs around 50 at a 35,000-square-foot site in Springfield. Elastocon does much of its work in SEBS-type stryenic block copolymers, but also does some business in copolyester. Barkus will remain with Aurora after the deal.

Last year, Elastocon responded to customer requests by offering materials in order sizes of less than 1 million pounds. Officials said in the April 15 release that Elastocon's line of overmold grades can be modified for any soft touch requirement and "are highly sought-after compounds in consumer and industrial markets."

"Coupled with Aurora Plastics' experience in extrusion and co-extrusion based TPEs, the merger will allow customers to more easily procure the materials they need from a single source," officials added.

Aurora's current product lineup includes PVC compounds and alloys, chlorinated polyethylene alloys, low-smoke flame-retardant concentrates, purge compounds and TPE compounds.

The Elastocon deal is Aurora's first since it acquired JPI South of Pasadena, Texas, in May. In the second half of 2017, Aurora had acquired S&E Specialty Polymers of Lunenburg, Mass., and Reiner Plastics of Marieville, Quebec.

"Our goal with each acquisition is the same: to continue to be the first choice in polymer solutions," Hughes said in the release.

Earlier this year, Aurora completed an expansion and renovation of its Pasadena plant. The expansion included improvements in compound blending and automation, as well as a new lab and product-testing capabilities.

Aurora was founded in 1997 and is a unit of Chicago private equity firm Wind Point Partners, which has owned Aurora since 2016. In addition to Streetsboro and its acquisition locations, the firm also operates a compounding plant in Welcome, N.C.

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» Publication Date: 16/04/2019

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [310187].