Hi-Port Bought by Investors


Houston contract blender and packager Hi-Port Inc. has been purchased by a privately owned investment group that plans to provide the dollars needed for expansion.

The purchase was made by John W. Mecom Investment Group, a partnership led by the Mecom family, also of Houston, which has a variety of businesses involved principally in oil and natural gas exploration and production. It already owns a smaller blending and packaging facility in Baton Rouge, La.

What we saw in Hi-Port was a company that was very under-capitalized, said John W. Mecom III, who manages the familys assets and investments. We are going to bring a lot of capital to the business, clean it up, turn it around and make it look good.

Mecom said the investment group was attracted to Hi-Port partly because of its diverse activities, which include packaging of fuel and lubricant additives, agricultural chemicals and even food products, as well as lubricants. Hi-Port, which was privately owned, employs more than 300 people and has annual throughput capacity of 100 million gallons.

The new owners have renamed the business RhinoPak and given it a new board of directors but expect to retain existing employees. Mecom foresees no drastic changes in product mix, although the investors will spend to update packaging lines, add more lines and improve safety and environmental protections.

If you look at our customer list, it looks like the top 15 of the Fortune 500, Mecom said. We dont need to drum up a lot of new clients. The way for us to grow is by improving our performance so we can do more business for our existing customers.

Neither Hi-Port nor Mecom disclosed the price of the deal.

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