Merger creates contract manufacturing powerhouse

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tri tech Personal care Cosmetics

US-based LEK has merged with Tri Tech, part of the Canadian
Knowlton group, to form North America's largest personal care
manufacturer, press reports say. The move that boosts the
business's footing in an increasingly globalized industry.

The deal falls in line with the growing tendency for brand owners to contract out various aspects of personal care manufacturing, increasing the resources and ability of the business to provide turnkey solutions.

Accordingly the merging companies will be owned by Knowlton Development Corp and its major shareholder Novacap. Although no trading name has been given to the new business, the company says that a press statement will be released to confirm details.

News of the deal was first broken by Lynchburg, Virginia, based The News & Advance newspaper. This is also the home of Tri Tech, which manufactures cosmetics, fragrances and households goods from its plant in the outskirts of the city.

Its personal care arm manufacturers shower gels, soaps and skin lotions for a number of leading US cosmetic and toiletry company.

Although Tri Tech management refused to make any comment about the deal, management at Knowlton, Quebec-based LEK business confirmed that a joint statement involving its major shareholder, Novacap would be released shortly.

LEK styles itself as a personal care solutions suppliers, and has been serving Fortune 500 companies since 1991. Its main area of specialization is antiperspirant and deodorant, but it also serves the skin care and hair care categories.

Tri Tech CEO Ron Rogers told the newspaper that the deal had been finalized in the second week of January.

"The only way we can compete globally is to seek out strategic alliances, such as this one with Novacap,"​ Rodgers told the News & Advance. "We all have huge capacity. It gives us other opportunities."

The ultimate aim of the merger is that the larger resources of the Knowlton group will help Tri Tech to compete on a global scale, particularly in the areas of technology, engineering, supply chain and product innovation.

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