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story.lead_photo.caption A map showing the location of Flippin.

Arkansas plastic-maker Micro Plastics Inc. has been acquired by a component-maker based in the United Kingdom.

Privately owned Micro Plastics in Flippin, southwest of Mountain Home, employs about 400 workers and has been in the city since 1975, according to the company website. Founded in 1961 in the Chicago suburbs, Micro Plastics today operates a 230,000-square-foot factory in Flippin and produces 10,000 items, including screws, nuts, washers, spacers and other items. it also has a manufacturing and warehouse operation in Monterrey, Mexico.

For the fiscal year that ended on June 30, Micro Plastics booked earnings of $1.7 million on revenue of $26.8 million, according to a release.

Tom Hill, owner of Micro Plastics and son of the company founder Roy Hill, confirmed that the sale of the company closed Wednesday. He referred further questions concerning the deal to the corporate offices of the company's new owner, Essentra PLC.

The specifics of the deal were not announced, but according to a release Micro Plastics was acquired on a cash-free, debt-free basis, funded from existing facilities. Attempts to reach representatives of Essentra by email were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.

"The acquisition of Micro Plastics is consistent with our strategic objective in components of identifying value-adding acquisition growth opportunities to consolidate our position as an expert manufacturer and distributor of a worldwide range of low cost components," Paul Forman, chief executive officer of Essentra, said in the release. "In addition, through the site in Monterrey, we will extend our manufacturing footprint and gain access to a number of high growth end-markets -- such as white goods and automotives in Mexico."

With headquarters in Buckinghamshire, England, Essentra is a global maker and distributor of component parts. Micro Plastics will become part of Essentra's component solutions division, which produces injection-molded, vinyl-molded and metal items, according to a release. The division makes components for equipment manufacturing, as well as the automotive, fabrication, electronics and construction industries.

Essentra also operates a health and personal care packaging division and a filter products division. Worldwide the company employs about 8,000 workers and has nearly 50 manufacturing facilities.

Essentra executives adjusted profit outlooks downward several times during the year, primarily on the weakness of Essentra's health and personal packaging division, most recently saying the division's facilities in Texas and Puerto Rico had production interrupted by hurricanes Harvey and Maria.

At the first of the year the company brought in Forman to serve as its new CEO. Forman has a reputation for turning ailing companies around, according to media reports at the time.

Business on 12/14/2017

Print Headline: U.K. maker of parts buys Micro Plastics operation in Flippin

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