Düsseldorf, Germany — Stork Plastics Machinery BV is spreading its wings wide and soaring into markets beyond northern Europe.
The Dutch injection molding machinery maker has "traditionally been a very quiet company," said Benjamin Sutch, managing partner of Chudleigh Sutch UK Ltd., Stork's distributor for North and South America. The mainstay of its business has been in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland, he said.
But the Hengelo, Netherlands-based company is gaining momentum — and financial support under new ownership — to increase its market wingspan.
Just weeks before the K show kicked off, Stork announced that industrial systems supplier Hydratec Industries NV had acquired a 75 percent majority interest in the company. Hydratec also acquired Rollepaal Holding BV, an extruder maker in Dedemsvaart, Netherlands.
Stork's previous owner, Dutch private equity firm Wadinko NV, retains a 25 percent stake in the business. But with Hydratec, the machinery company gets a new infusion of capital, investment and energy, he said.
"For Stork, it's the best of both worlds: It's continuity in ownership, with some fresh blood to add some energy to the future investment in the company," Sutch said in an interview at K.
In the last few years, there has been a concerted effort to expand the brand — finding new sales partners such as Etchingham, England-based Chudleigh Sutch, which has a global footprint in China, Australia and the United States, among other areas.
"They now have agents and distributors throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand," Sutch said, adding that a new sales director for the Spanish and Portuguese market has also recently been hired.
Stork looks to sell between 75-100 machines a year on average, Sutch said. And in the last three years, there have been many more of its machines floating outside of Europe: about 45 in the Americas and 10-plus in Southeast Asia, he added.
"You're seeing Stork start to spread its wings a little bit, which is obviously very exciting news and interesting to the American market to know that Stork is coming to town," he said.