Whitney Buys Wellman’s Engineering Resins Biz

Wellman Inc. (OTC BB: WMAN) has sold its Engineering Resins business to J.H. Whitney & Co. and group management. No financial terms were disclosed. The new company will be known as Wellman Plastics Recycling, and will operator out of Johnsonville, South Carolina.


Wellman, Inc. ([OTC]: WMANQ.OB) and the newly formed Wellman Plastics Recycling announced today that they have completed the sale of Wellman’s Engineering Resins business and other assets located on its Johnsonville, SC site to a new company backed by an investor group led by J.H. Whitney & Co. and management. The new company will be known as Wellman Plastics Recycling and will operate businesses under both the Wellman Plastics Recycling and Wellman Engineering Resins names.


Mark Ruday, Wellman, Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to have completed the sale of our Engineering Resins Division and the entire Johnsonville site. Today marks an important step forward for both the new organization in Johnsonville and Wellman, Inc.’s remaining chemical based businesses. Most importantly, I am pleased to have reached a conclusion that not only is in the best interest of Wellman, Inc.’s various stakeholders but the employees in Johnsonville and the surrounding community.”


Robert Fotsch, CEO of the newly formed Wellman Plastics Recycling, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to complete the purchase of Wellman’s Johnsonville facility today and we look forward to continuing the Wellman name and tradition as a leader in plastic recycling. This transaction would not have been possible without the commitment of our equity partners, the City of Johnsonville, Joe King (Florence County Economic Development Partnership), Daniel Young (SC Department of Commerce), Ken Ard (Florence County Council) and all our dedicated employees at the Johnsonville site. I would like to take a moment and personally thank each of you for all the hard work you put into making this project a success. With the commitment of our equity partners and sound financial structure, we plan to make the necessary investments to support the high quality team in Johnsonville and reestablish Johnsonville’s leadership in Engineering Resins so that it remains a critical partner with companies in the automotive and other industries.” Robert Fotsch will maintain his position as CEO of New Horizons Plastics Recycling, a Greenville, South Carolina-based PET recycling business.


About the assets at Wellman’s Johnsonville facility.


The Engineering Resins business has the capacity to produce over 70 million pounds per year of engineered plastics, which is used in a wide variety of applications including automotive, lawn and garden, and electronics. Other assets include a 235 million pound polyester staple fiber plant and a 190 million pound PET bottle recycling operation.


About J.H. Whitney & Co.


J.H. Whitney & Co., established in 1946, was one of the first U.S. firms to pioneer the development of the private equity industry. Today, J.H. Whitney remains privately owned and its main activity is to provide private equity capital for small and middle market companies. J.H. Whitney is currently investing its sixth private equity fund, J.H. Whitney VI, L.P., for major endowments, foundations, pension plans, and high net-worth families. Investment activities are focused on small and middle market buyouts of market leading companies that are poised for growth in a number of industries including consumer products and retail, healthcare services, specialty manufacturing and business services. (www.whitney.com)


About Wellman, Inc.


Wellman, Inc. manufactures and markets high-quality PermaClear® brand PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging resin.