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Plasticolors merger will create 50 jobs in near future
ASHTABULA, May 03, 2012 (Star Beacon - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Copyright (C) 2012, Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio

Fifty jobs are set to be created in the city with the merger and formation of Chromaflo Technologies, company officials said Wednesday.

Plasticolors Inc. of Ashtabula and the Colortrend business of Evonik Industries AG of Minnesota were purchased and merged Monday by New York private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners, making the new Chromaflo the industry's largest independent global pigment dispersion platform.

Purchase prices were not disclosed.

Chromaflo will be based at Plasticolors' present location at 2600 Michigan, Ave., Ashtabula. This facility will be global headquarters for a now multi-national company, said Mark J. Astorino, Chromaflo's chief financial officer.

Plasticolors' CEO, Scott Becker, will serve as the CEO of the newly formed firm.

Astorino said the merger and creation of Chromaflo has them looking to create at least 50 news jobs in the next few years.

"We will be expanding our lab and office space to accommodate the increased demand and re-engineering some of our manufacturing space to increase capacity," he said. "This is great news for the local economy, the county, northeast Ohio and the state."

The deals are the second and third plastics deals that Arsenal has made this year. In January, the firm bought a majority stake in Fluoro-Seal Holdings LLC -- a plastic barrier treatment maker based in Houston -- for between $30 million and $60 million. Arsenal's investment portfolio is valued at more than $800 million.

Being acquired is a change of pace for Plasticolors, which itself had made five acquisitions in the last 12 years. Most recently, the 150-employee firm in January bought several non-urethane pigment dispersion product lines from Milliken & Co.

Plasticolors was founded in 1970 by chemist Bey Blanchard to produce the highest quality and most technologically advanced pigment dispersions for the fiberglass reinforced polyester market.

In 1972, he moved the operation to Middle Road in Ashtabula.

The Michigan Avenue facility was built in 1984.

The employee stock ownership plan was implemented in 1988, and although this merger ends the employee ownership structure, Astorino said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for our employees to lock in financial security."

Astorino praised Blanchard for forming such a fine company.

Blanchard's son, Doug Blanchard, who served as treasurer and chief financial officer for 30 years, said the family is very excited about the merger.

"We think it is in the best interest of the employees, the community and the shareholders," he said. "It's going to bring a lot of jobs to Ashtabula."

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