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Jul 17, 2023Jul 17, 2023

McClarin Plastics LLC, a contract molder based in Hanover, Pa., has acquired Custom Composites LLC in Oklahoma City to diversify its market reach, improve delivery times, and offer technical support to the Central and Southwest United States.

About 50 new jobs will be created at Custom Composites in addition to the 30 existing positions, McClarin CEO Jerry Armstrong said in an email.

Founded in 1953, McClarin thermoforms components for the construction, medical, transportation and recreational industries, and it molds parts from fiber-reinforced plastic for wind turbine enclosures, bathroom modules for railcars, and front caps for buses.

Custom Composites also is a contract manufacturer, making liquid storage tanks from polypropylene and fiberglass for fire trucks and lawn care sprayers as well as aerial lift buckets for utility trucks and FRP grating for oilfield walkways since 1972.

No terms were disclosed, but Armstrong said the deal includes Custom Composite's 83,000-square-foot facility, open- and closed-mold FRP equipment, PP welding equipment, a new paint booth, a new air filtration system and a dust collection system.

McClarin is owned by Blackford Capital, a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Mich., that acquires and manages middle-market companies with annual sales between $20 million and $100 million.

McClarin saw Custom Composite as a good fit because of its location and the market potential for both businesses, Armstrong said.

"While we already serve customers in the South Central U.S., a facility in that region allows us to better serve our customers with shorter delivery times and a higher degree of collaboration amongst engineering teams," he said. "We expect to increase our sales to states within this region as result, and expect that those opportunities will likely be within the energy, construction equipment and agricultural equipment end markets."

McClarin manufactures some very large parts — an assembled fiberglass nacelle, or generator housing, for a wind turbine can be 33 feet long — and those oversided products are costly to ship. Having a site in Oklahoma will save the business and its customers money.

"We produce large custom parts for a variety of industries and freight is a major factor in the cost of the value chain," Armstrong said. "Our strategy to diversify by market and geography allows McClarin to provide a competitive value proposition."

McClarin will move some work to Oklahoma City that currently ships to the region from its other three facilities, which are in Hanover, Pa.; Wapato, Wash.; and Elmore, Ala. Company officials expect to grow organically there, too, by picking up new customers that need products for cooling towers and agricultural and military uses.

Several local news sites say McClarin received $80,000 in economic development incentives to expand operations in Oklahoma City. McLarin reportedly will create up to 58 jobs in the next five years with an average starting pay of $34,760.

The project has an estimated economic impact of $24.7 million in terms of capital investment, wages, and state and local taxes for the first four years, according to local reports.

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