Tags: Buffett’s Farm-Product Unit Acquires Plastics-Maker

Buffett’s Farm-Product Unit Acquires Plastics Maker

Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 02:42 PM

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is expanding its CTB Inc., a maker of pig feeders and agricultural equipment, by adding a Michigan-based producer of plastic components used by the auto industry and the military.

CTB bought Ironwood Plastics, which was founded in 1979 and operates manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin, the Berkshire subsidiary said today in a statement posted on its website. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Buffett, 80, has bankrolled CTB’s expansion since Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire bought the maker of PigTek and Chore- Time products in 2002. CTB, whose predecessor was founded in 1952 to serve poultry and livestock farmers, later expanded into grain storage.

“Ironwood Plastics’ combination of management and process skill coupled with their wide variety of plastics processes will open many new avenues for us,” CTB Chief Executive Officer Victor Mancinelli said in the statement.

Ironwood will enter the agricultural market and expand outside the U.S. and Canada, while maintaining service for its current customers, according to the statement.

Ironwood makes custom precision-molded plastics for automotive, military and industrial applications, including pieces for bomb fuses, car sensors and electric meters, said Mark Stephens, the company’s president, in an interview. The company has about 165 employees, Stephens said. He declined to disclose annual revenue. CTB has more than 1,100 employees, Berkshire said in its most recent annual report.

Stephens co-founded the business with his father Gordon, according to the CTB statement. Mark Stephens will continue running the business along with Ironwood’s Rick Faustich, CTB said.

Buffett said in October that he prefers to retain former owners after acquisitions because they have a “passion” for their companies.

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Warren Buffett s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is expanding its CTB Inc., a maker of pig feeders and agricultural equipment, by adding a Michigan-based producer of plastic components used by the auto industry and the military. CTB bought Ironwood Plastics, which was founded in...
Buffett’s Farm-Product Unit Acquires Plastics-Maker
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