£1.5m for plastics firm's expansion
A PLASTICS manufacturer is set to expand thanks to a £1.5 million investment.
The cash will be spent on new machinery at the Wells Plastics manufacturing plant in Stone.
The company, which was set up in 1984, said the latest technology will mean it can increase production and offer a more flexible service to its customers.
About 40 people work at the site in the manufacturing and sale of plastic additive masterbatches and compounds.
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Additive masterbatches modify various properties of the base plastic, such as making it anti-static or flame retardant.
The company said its growth plans have been spurred on by an increase in sales of Reverte, Wells Plastics' line of oxo-biodegradable and degradable additive masterbatches and compounds.
It has secured deals with a number of blue chip companies in the last 12 months and expects demand for the product to continue.
The £1.5 million is a follow-on investment from private equity house Key Capital Partners and current shareholders.
Key Capital Partners made its initial investment in Wells Plastics, which has an annual turnover of about £10 million, in February 2011, alongside senior debt facilities from longtime banking partner NatWest.
The business is planning to increase output by around 25 per cent following the investment.
Chief executive of Wells Plastics, Dr Neil Partlett, said: "The follow-on funding is great news for the development of Wells Plastics.
"It will help us develop the production facilities we need to support the future growth plans of the business."
Reverte was developed at the Wells Plastics' laboratories and is now sold in more than 50 countries around the world.
Plastic bags or film made with Reverte degrade via a two-step process when discarded. The first stage triggers embrittlement of the product before it biodegrades, ultimately converting to water, CO2 and biomass.
However, the degradation process only begins when the bag or film has been discarded and is exposed to sufficient sunlight. Therefore, the goods remain intact even if stored in hot warehouse conditions for numerous months prior to use.
Mark Buttler, director at Key Capital Partners, said: "Despite the difficult conditions in the manufacturing sector, Wells Plastics has maintained a strong position.
"We remain on the lookout for opportunities to expand."
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