Universal Plastics Acquired
June 13, 2012
Senior Management to be retained
New Ownership to Be on Site, Retain Senior Management
The father-son team of Sunil and Jay Kumar has acquired Universal Plastics from the Peters family, pledging to serve as on-site managers and grow the business as the Whiting Farms Road company, founded in 1966 by James R. Peters, transitions from one family ownership group to another.
Terms of the sale were not made public. Universal Plastics has gross annual sales of approximately $10 million, employs 70 people and manufactures thermoforming plastics that include custom containers, protective covers and enclosures for many large companies including Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and BE Aerospace. The company also does work for the United States military.
The new owners plan to keep senior management in place at the company and hope to expand and grow the product line. The Kumars also plan to serve as on-site owners and managers of the business. Sunil Kumar has an extensive background in manufacturing, having previously worked as President and CEO of International Specialty Products, AF Materials Corporation and as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Bridgestone/Firestone Tires. His son Jay, who will join him in ownership, is a graduate of Cornell University and has worked extensively in the investment arena, most recently as Managing Principal at PAON LLC.
According to Joseph Peters, President of Universal Plastics, closing on the sale of the business occurred this week and the new ownership group has already reached out to many of Universal’s customers to inform them of the acquisition.
Peters and his brothers Michael and Richard serve as senior managers of the company and will stay on for the foreseeable future to ensure a smooth transition. Peters said, “As a second generation family business we are excited that ownership is being transferred to another family who plans to manage the business on-site and grow the specialty plastics business. The Kumars have both the manufacturing experience and financial wherewithal to grow the business. We are excited for them, and my brother Mike and I plan to do all we can to make the transition successful.”
According to Sunil Kumar, “My son and I have been exploring acquiring a manufacturing company and found Universal to have a unique product line and great reputation within their industry. We think there is a great opportunity for us to grow the company going forward.”
Universal Plastics was founded in Chicopee in 1966 by James R. Peters who along with his wife, Frances, and eventually their four sons, Joseph, Michael, James and Richard and daughter Mary Frances, grew the business into an industry leader. As a custom manufacturer, Universal has made kayaks, air ducts for the Space Shuttle, all of the bus stop signs currently used in New York City and the bow of the submarines used by the Navy Seals. In 2008 they added a 30,000 square foot addition to their Whiting Farms Road building for a total of 100,000 square feet of production and office space. The company is ISO 9001 certified.