Spartech takes ordinary plastic and makes it special. The company compounds basic plastic resins from other suppliers into sheet and rollstock, plastic alloys, calendered film, and finished molded products, among other items. Spartech's customers include equipment manufacturers in industries such as auto parts, building materials, electronics, medical equipment, and toys. It operates about 30 plants, most of which are located in North America, where it makes more than three-quarters of its sales. Spartech is a top North American producer of rigid plastic sheet and rollstock, as well as color and specialty compounds. In 2012 the debt-laden company agreed to be acquired by PolyOne for $393 million.
Makers of packaging products are Spartech's largest customers, accounting for about a third of the company's total sales. Other major customers are transportation companies and those engaged in building and construction.
Spartech sold its plastic wheel assembly business in 2009 in order to pay down debt. It also closed and liquidated three other businesses, including a manufacturer of boat components sold to the marine market, and one compounding and one sheet business that previously serviced single customers. Those moves were part of a plan to make Spartech's finances healthier. Another move in that direction was shutting down about a quarter of the company's production facilities, reducing the number of plants from more than 40 in 2008.
Spartech's overall revenues showed a 10% increase in 2010, due primarily to a significant increase in sales volumes of compounds and sheet to the automotive and appliance sectors, as well as the agricultural and leisure markets. However, net income swung from a modest profit to a significant loss in 2010 due to goodwill impairments and payment of a separation agreement to a departing chief executive.
Victoria Holt was named Spartech's president and CEO in 2010. She replaced Myles Odaniell, who resigned. Holt was previously SVP of PPG Industries.