A longtime family-owned manufacturer, Plastic Molding Technology, has been sold to a large holding company, which has invested $1 million in the company as it looks to grow its plastics portfolio.
San Diego-based Tide Rock Holdings, which owns companies in the manufacturing, distribution and services industries, purchased PMT for an undisclosed price.
“We’re looking for investments and want ones that help us grow, and we look at market segments resilient to economic downturns,” said Michael Engler, group CEO for the plastics division at Tide Rock Holdings. “We’re looking for products and services that go across current market trends, and in the event of a pandemic, we still want to have relevant products.”
Engler said Tide Rock Holdings was attracted to PMT in part because of its location along the border. He said the region is also strategic for other Tide Rock company locations and logistics.
“There’s a synergy that makes this attractive,” Engler said. “Plastics is a growing market with a diverse group of customers, and it gives us a larger base platform and allows us to support more of our customers.”
PMT was founded by Charles E. Sholtis in Connecticut in 1973. The company opened an El Paso facility in 2001 and relocated and consolidated its headquarters to the borderland in 2003. PMT was led by Sholtis’ son, Charles A. Sholtis, who will remain an advisor to the business, according to a news release.
The company, which operates a 60,000-square-foot facility in Far East El Paso, makes plastic injection molded parts and components for many industries, including automotive, industrial, electrical and recreational vehicles.
The terms of the sale were not released, but, in 2014, El Paso Inc. reported PMT had sales of $15 million, employed 100 people and shipped 153 million plastic widgets a year.
Engler said Tide Rock Holdings has invested more than $1 million in the company since the sale in December.
“PMT built a solid foundation as a solutions provider over nearly five decades. I look forward to having the ability to expand our capabilities and capacity as a Made-in-USA manufacturer,” Sholtis said in a news release. “We have a longstanding reputation as a leading technical injection molder, from our beginnings as a family-founded business in New England to our relocation in 2003 to the U.S./Mexico border region. We decided to partner with Tide Rock
to be able to achieve the next level of growth.”
Engler said PMT now has about 140 employees, and that the company is looking for workers with mechanical aptitudes that can be trained in plastics injection molding.
“When (Sholtis) wanted to see the business continue on past the second generation, it was a good fit for what we were looking to do,” Engler told El Paso Inc.
He said the labor market in El Paso has differed from the markets in San Diego and Colorado, where Tide Rock Holdings also has operations. It’s not as competitive here, and there is a large pool of skilled and unskilled workers who can be trained for jobs at PMT.
Engler added that the borderland has been strategic for Tide Rock because of the manufacturing operations on both U.S. and Mexico sides.
“I believe over the last few years we’ve seen more manufacturing taking place on the border, and that there’s still a large number of great companies located on both sides of the border,” Engler said. “Based on what we do, about 65 to 70% of what we do is geographically in that region.”
Tide Rock Holdings, which announced last May that it had raised $100 million in capital to acquire “profitable lower middle market businesses,” now owns a number of plastics and electro-mechanical contract manufacturing companies, including Interconnect Solutions Company; Plastics Design and Manufacturing; Pikes Peak; and Altarek.
Jerry Pacheco, president of the Border Industrial Association, said the region remains an attractive place for reshoring efforts. Supply chain snarls have prompted companies to move more production to North America to be closer to their customers. And with reliable shipping no longer a given, more companies are stockpiling goods, which has made warehouse space hard to find.
“We have so many advantages,” said Pacheco, who has worked to recruit companies to the region for three decades. “We have the cross-border element, big supplier base, and plastics are a big part of everything we do here. It bodes well for our region.”