, Gloucester, MA


October 20, 2012

Blackburn firm adds another acquisition

Lifted out of bankruptcy two years ago by private equity acquisition, Gloucester Engineering, a leading designer and manufacturer of capital equipment for the plastic extrusion industry, has now made its second acquisition of the year.

The portfolio company of Blue Wolf Capital Fund has acquired a New York State company, Pearl Technologies Inc., that engineers and designs products such as punches for adapting the films that come from the equipment made with Gloucester Engineering’s heavy hardware. The perforated plastic bags for fruit, breads and other food products that require post production modification define Pearl’s core field.

In March, the recapitalized and revitalized Gloucester Engineering, based in the city’s Blackburn Industrial Park, added Future Design of Toronto, Canada, which is known for its blown film bubble management expertise.

”We have the capital to grow,” said Gloucester Engineering President Carl Johnson.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed Friday, but Johnson said Pearl Technologies made an ideal fit with Gloucester Engineering for many reasons — including that Pearl produces that allows the inexpensive and facile conversion of extrusion equipment.

”We have several billion dollars worth of equipment out there,” said Johnson. “Pearl keeps these machines viable. They help people make (plastic) film better, faster more profitable, with better tolerances trash bags and higher barrier films.”

Pearl makes “a variety of bag machines retrofittable,” he added.

Gloucester Engineering has a global footprint, while Pearl — based in Savannah, N.Y., in the Finger Lakes Region — has a more confined market that now can be expanded.

“We can help Pearl with representation all over the world, and Pearl can give us access do do bag making,” Johnson explained in a telephone interview. “We can recommend each others products. you have two companies working on the same thing.

“Our goal is to get to one-stop shopping,” he said. “The way you differentiate yourself today is service: Pearl gives us reach, we give them financial security.”

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