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OTR tire/retread compound supplier Kirkhill Rubber sold

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Rubber compounder Hexpol A.B. has acquired Kirkhill Rubber, a Long Beach-based custom compounder whose product portfolio includes rubber compounds for the OTR tire production and retreading segments.

Malmo, Sweden-based Hexpol paid $49 million for Kirkhill, a 22-year-old company that operates in the aerospace, automotive, medical and other industry segments.

Hexpol said Kirkhill reported annual sales of about $46 million in 2017 and has recently expanded into silicone and perfluoroelastomer compounding. The business was purchased from founder and President Edward Reker — who will continue working under Hexpol’s ownership — his family and co-owners.

“This acquisition is a very good complement to Hexpol Compounding in the U.S. and broadens and strengthens our presence with rubber compounds by highly skilled people and advanced processes,” Tracy Garrison, president of Hexpol Compounding NAFTA, said.

“Kirkhill’s recent purchase of the facility located in Long Beach further increases our ability to provide superior products and unparalleled service for our customers.”

Hexpol plans to consolidate Kirkhill’s operations — spread among facilities in Downey and Long Beach, Calif., and Athens, Ga. — at the “state-of-the-art” Long Beach facility Kirkhill acquired recently.

Hexpol said the plants in Downey and Athens — where the OTR tire/retread business is located — are not included in the transaction.The Athens plant once belonged to Oliver Rubber Co.

“We will see an immediate benefit by access to Hexpol’s global material reach, expanded development resources and advanced quality systems,” Mr. Reker said in a statement. “This will translate into exceptional service and enhanced products to our customers very quickly.”

Kirkhill Rubber was founded in 1996 by former employees of Kirkhill Inc., who purchased the rubber manufacturing equipment from Kirkhill Inc., an industrial rubber products maker.

Hexpol describes itself as a polymers group with strong global market positions in advanced polymer compounds, gaskets for plate heat exchangers and wheels made of plastic and rubber materials for forklifts and castor wheel applications.

Among the Swedish company’s holdings is Robbins L.L.C. of Muscle Shoals, Ala., a compounding specialist and producer of curing envelopes for the retread industry.

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