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Robbins buys Presti Rubber (Update)

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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (July 3, 2002)—Robbins L.L.C., a retreading materials supplier, has purchased the assets and technology of its biggest competitor, Presti Rubber Products Inc. of New Britain, Pa.

Presti makes and distributes outside and inside retreading envelopes—marketed under the Survivor, Super-Lope and Inner-Lope brands—for light truck through large off-road tires, according to Muscle Shoals-based Robbins.

The company would not disclose the cost of the acquisition, which was completed June 28.

Robbins produces curing tubes, outside and inside envelopes for the retreading of passenger, truck and small off-road tires. Its products are marketed under the Double Dot, Uni-Tube, Accu Fit and Accu Fit II names.

“We feel we're the world leader in the envelope market,” Jerrie Crosswhite, Robbins' executive vice president and COO, told Tire Business. “Our No. 1 competitor we faced was Presti. The buyout allows us to incorporate them and their sales base into our operation as well as gain one of the largest accounts in the world.”

Another benefit of the acquisition, she added, is “the technology of Presti—they have a unique envelope. Their process and technology is different from ours and that of other companies. We felt they were a strong competitor with a very good product.”

Ms. Crosswhite would not divulge sales figures for Robbins or Presti.

Founded in 1921, Robbins also provides specialized, custom-mixed rubber compounds and services to other rubber product manufacturing companies. Its products are distributed through a global network of independent distributors and regional sales managers.

Ms. Crosswhite anticipated it will take up to a year to combine both companies' operations. “We have a lot to do to bring together the marketing and merging of product lines,” she said. For the present, Robbins will keep the Presti product names, but will likely develop a logo eventually to reflect merged product lines.

“Our intention, as of now, is to not have Presti as a division of Rollins, but…we've not yet completed our marketing strategies and how the products will be marketed down the road,” she said.

Presti Rubber, founded in the early 1980s, “has pledged its continuing support to ensure that the transition goes smoothly,” a Robbins press release said.

A “rather small” 12,000-sq.-ft. plant operated by Presti in New Britain will remain open, Ms. Crosswhite said, though “we can't reveal, long range, what will happen to that site.” Meanwhile, Robbins' 250,000-sq.-ft. facility in Alabama will remain open. “Plans are that eventually there will be a consolidation of the facilities, but we're not going to move the Alabama plant to Pennsylvania,” she added.

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