Western States Manufacturing has purchased the tire repair materials arm of Davis Rubber Co., merging the operations of two of North America's oldest such suppliers.
Both companies have been making patches and other tire repair materials since 1924 and are privately held. Neither disclosed annual sales figures.
Dan Hunstiger, director of sales for Sioux City-based Western States, said the acquisition was completed Aug. 16. Terms of the sale were not announced.
Davis Rubber's departure from the tire repair materials market leaves the Little Rock, Ark., tire recycler free to concentrate on the production and sale of shredded rubber used as ground cover in playgrounds and as mulch in landscaping applications, said Phillip Davis, company president and son of the founder.
Mr. Davis said Davis Rubber faced the need for a substantial expansion if it wished to remain competitive in the tire repair materials arena. Instead, the company elected to increase its output of ground rubber. He said the company has been selling such rubber to Arkansas's various solid waste districts for playground use ``as fast as we can make it.''
Mr. Hunstiger, a former vice president of Truflex Pang Rubber Products Co., who has been associated with Western States for about four years, said Davis Rubber's production equipment will be moved to Sioux City where it will be used by Western States to expand its product lines and branded offerings.
The company plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Sioux City to house some of the newly acquired equipment. Meanwhile, Western States will continue to supply Davis brand products to that company's existing customer base, he said.
In recent years, Western States has concentrated on producing nail-hole patches and other repair materials for smaller tires such as those found on passenger cars and light trucks. With its additional manufacturing capacity, however, the company wants to expand its production to include materials for repairing larger-sized tires, such as those used on commercial trucks and agricultural vehicles. Plans call for doubling the current number of Western States' stock-keeping units, Mr. Hunstiger said.
Production of private label repair materials for other distributors also has accounted for the lion's share of the company's sales volume in years past. However, that too could change.
Armed with its soon-to-be expanded capacity and added production capabilities, Western States hopes to step up the marketing of its own branded products, including the firm's venerable Western Weld brand, sold through distributors in the U.S. and Canada since the mid-1940s. Ultimately, the company hopes to increase its export sales as well. ``We need to crank up volume in order to do that,'' Mr. Hunstiger said.