November 14, 2007 — /PRNewswire/ — CLEVELAND, OH — PolyOne Corp., a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GLS Corp. (GLS), the leading North American provider of specialty thermoplastic elastomer compounds (TPE) for consumer and medical applications. GLS has annual sales of approximately $130 million. Terms of the pending transaction were not disclosed. However, PolyOne expects that the acquisition will be slightly accretive to earnings in the first year. Consummation of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions.
GLS, a privately held company owned by the Dehmlow family, is headquartered in McHenry, IL. It has built a superb reputation as a strategic partner to many of the world’s best-known companies in developing and marketing highly customized soft TPEs. GLS products give toothbrush handles a softer touch, provide a better grip for electronic devices, create a stronger seal for food and beverage packaging, and enhance the flexibility of medical tubing systems. The company, which serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide, has achieved double-digit revenue growth in each of the last 10 years and is well positioned to capitalize on escalating demand for soft-touch products. With approximately 200 employees, GLS supports its customers with manufacturing facilities in Illinois and Suzhou, China. In 2006, GLS became the first specialty TPE compounder to begin production in China.
The potential acquisition of GLS demonstrates PolyOne’s continued commitment to executing a specialization strategy focused on technical innovation, new product launches, speed to market, and long-term customer alliances rooted in problem solving and value creation. GLS is known for difficult-to-develop specialty compounds and rapid turnaround on customer requests, with a research and development department that operates around the clock. The acquisition of GLS also will provide PolyOne access to new customers in specialized, high-growth markets such as health care and electronics. PolyOne has targeted these markets for expansion and believes there are additional cross-selling opportunities. Moreover, the two companies’ global footprints are highly complementary.
“GLS is a very important strategic acquisition and the kind of company that we have been carefully seeking to become a significant part of PolyOne’s business portfolio,” says Stephen D. Newlin, chairman, president, and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome the GLS employees and customers to the PolyOne family. The GLS management team has built a terrific brand and is a customer-centric growth company. Its people and technology will be valuable additions to the PolyOne team.”
“Combining GLS’s technological capabilities with PolyOne’s global infrastructure and commercial presence uniquely positions us to capitalize on the expanding TPE market,” Newlin adds.
Craig Nikrant, PolyOne’s vice president and general manager of PolyOne’s North American engineered materials, says, “GLS is a great addition to the global engineered materials business portfolio. This acquisition will accelerate the specialization strategy for our global Engineered Materials business and will decisively shift our portfolio as we continue our aggressive evolution into a specialty solutions provider of engineering thermoplastics. The acquisition of GLS, coupled with last year’s dedication of our $10 million specialties compounding plant, clearly demonstrates our commitment to our specialization strategy.”
“We are delighted to join forces with PolyOne and become a key component in its strategic evolution,” says Dan Dague, GLS president. “We were impressed with PolyOne’s management, its strategic vision and its corporate philosophies, and believe the combination will result in a new organization that is even stronger and better poised for future success.”
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. was PolyOne’s financial advisor on the GLS acquisition and Jones Day was outside counsel.
PolyOne Corp., with 2006 annual revenues of $2.6 billion, is a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions. Headquartered in northeast Ohio, PolyOne has operations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and joint ventures in North America and South America.
Source: PolyOne Corp.