Wax Maker Acquires PVC Lubes Company

Canadian wax maker The International Group Inc. has acquired Picayune, Mississippi-based Rheogistics LLC, which supplies lubricants and mechanical stabilizers to the rigid polyvinyl chloride industry. The transaction was completed on June 12, according to a press release by investment bank and financial adviser Grace Matthews. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“The partnership with IGI will expand Rheogistics’ operational capabilities to multiple production sites across North America and provide our customers with unmatched reliability and security of supply,” Tom Pedersen, majority owner, CEO and technical director of Rheogistics, said in the release.

According to Mike Harris, International Group’s new business development manager for the PVC market, paraffin and polyethylene waxes are used as both internal and external lubricants in rigid PVC production. Rheogistics sells refined paraffin, polyethylene, olefin and synthetic waxes, fatty acids, fatty acid esters and natural waxes for the rigid PVC industry.

Last year, Rheogistics expanded its warehouse capacity by 36% with construction of an 18,000 square foot building to store solid raw materials and surge inventory of finished products, according to its website. The company expanded production capacity by 40% at the end of 2018 and can make 14,000 pounds per hour of solid, prilled lubricants for rigid PVC. Prills are small beads of wax.

The company claims to be able to supply half of the North American PVC industry’s lubricant requirements, in addition to supplying lubricant systems for vinyl building products. It also makes custom waxes, including low- to medium-viscosity hot melt wax blends.

Scarborough, Ontario-headquartered International Group runs an integrated supply chain, including waxy feedstocks, refining, blending and terminal facilities, according to its website. It operates manufacturing and blending plants in four locations: Toronto; Titusville, Pennsylvania; Oshkosh, Wisconsin; and Baytown, Texas. Warehouses and terminals are located on the U.S. West Coast and in Farmer’s Valley, Pennsylvania.

The International Group’s products – including paraffin, microcrystalline, polyethylene, synthetic and non-petroleum waxes – have a wide range of end uses, such as building materials, PVC and plastics, packaging, cosmetics and foods.

Rigid PVC is manufactured with both internal and external lubricants. Both are mixed into the PVC before it is hardened and extruded. Internal lubricants lubricate particles before the PVC melt and macromolecules during the melt to help obtain the desired level of rigidity for the final product. External lubricants migrate to the PVC surface during extrusion to lubricate the PVC’s passage through the extruder, much like the lubricants used in cold and hot metal rolling.