Polyvulc for sale, may shut down operations at port

Published 11:19 am Friday, July 25, 2014

A fixture of the Port of Vicksburg since 1995 faces closure if owners don’t find a buyer within 45 days, according to an investment bank tasked with speeding up a sale.

Polyvulc USA, founded by businessmen Fred Farrell and Larry Lambiotte, has hired Maryland-based Heritage Equity Partners to seek “an immediate sale” of the Vicksburg-based plastics and rubber recycler and two subsidiaries in Jackson and Winnsboro, La., a release from the financial institution said Thursday. The subsidiaries are Polyvulc Tire Recycling LLC and Winnsboro Rubber Recycling LLC.

“Ownership is looking to complete transactions in the next 45 days and we believe the existing capacity and customers make this an excellent acquisition opportunity for someone in the rubber recycling or injection molding businesses,” said Matt LoCascio, a managing director at HEP, in an email. “Winnsboro is one of only four permitted facilities in the entire state of Louisiana, and Polyvulc Tire Recycling is one of only two in Mississippi, so groups looking to expand in this industry only have a few options to consider.”

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LoCascio said the bank will “explore options to liquidate piecemeal” if HEP can’t sell the business. The plant at 1645 Haining Road employs 22 people, he said. No overriding reason, economic or otherwise, for pursuing a sale was mentioned in the bank’s release.

A call placed to Lambiotte was not returned Thursday.

A vacancy at the port means stimulated competition to bring the number of businesses at the port back up to 20. Port director Wayne Mansfield said Thursday the company’s decision to put itself up for sale came a week before he was to meet with Polyvulc’s two founders. He indicated it was a mild surprise to learn the business was up for sale.

“Port property is at a premium right now,” Mansfield said.

The newest business to open on Haining Road is CAM2, a specialty motor oils processor, which began operations in May.

Polyvulc opened at the port in 1998, according to city directories, and followed the founders’ first venture, Falco Lime, on the city’s industrial landscape. The company took recycled rubber from tires or the auto industry and repackaged it as pier pads and foundation wall systems for manufactured homes. Two of three warehouses and one of two office spaces on the plant’s 7.3-acre spread were built in 1969-70, according to land records.

Its two subsidiaries ground old tires for various uses, including playground surfaces, asphalt, roofing, and for fuel to paper mills. The investment bank touted the process as green-friendly, as tire-derived fuel is cleaner than fossil fuels and keeps “millions of scrap tires out of landfills each year.”