How the 423,435-ft2 former Hoover vacuum plant in El Paso came to be for sale is easier to answer. Back in March, TTI Floor Care, a Ohio-headquartered subsidiary of Hong Kong based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd, announced it would close the El Paso plant, as well as a 274,295-ft2 operation across the border, as part of a “strategic” decision.
TTI came to own the facility, which boasts 150 Van Dorn injection molding machines ranging from 85 to 1,100 tons, back in 2007, when it bought the iconic brand of vacuums from Whirlpool for $107 million. Shortly thereafter, TTI created its floor care group, which consisted of Hoover, Dirt Devil and Vax (the company has since acquired the Oreck brand), headquartering it out of Glenwillow, Ohio, and promptly closing Hoover’s North Canton, Ohio production plant as part of an August 2007 “Strategic Repositioning Plan.” At the time, TTI said it would relocate manufacturing to Texas, Mexico and China.
On July 31, Los Angeles investment firm Hackman Capital Partners partnered with auction companies, BidItUp Auctions Worldwide and Maynards, to acquire the former Hoover properties. The price for the facilities and equipment, which were appraised for tax purposes at $12.2 million and $11.2 million, respectively, was not disclosed.
Steven Mattes, CEO of Mattes Diversified Industries, which owns Biditup, says his company is currently “fielding inquiries and entertaining potential buyers for the entire facility,” even offering financing or leasing, but if a single buyer doesn’t emerge, the company will conduct a “piecemeal auction” sometime this October.
Mattes is hopeful on the basis of the machines, noting that “market demand for the iconic Van Dorn injection molding equipment remains very strong worldwide.” Adding to Mattes’ optimism are his views that the used machinery markets are depleted of inventory while new equipment currently comes with “extended delivery dates.”
In addition to the Van Dorn’s, the plants also includes a “complete” CNC mold repair shop, as well as closed loop water chilling systems, nine 10-ton cranes, 120 granulators, and a complete material handling system, including resin silos.
Despite the consolidation of some U.S. operations, TTI, somewhat paradoxically, has been investing in the states as well. Last year it announced plans to hire more than 200 new electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, technicians and industrial designers nationwide over the next three years, and on July 8, it submitted the winning bid of $17.25 million for Oreck, including its Cookeville, Tenn. plant. At the auction, Simon Lawson, CEO of TTI Floor Care North America, said his company intends on maintaining production at that facility, saying the company feels it offers the business “a significant advantage.”
Further muddying the waters, particularly at a time when many companies are bringing production back to the U.S. and Mexico, is the fact that for the entire TTI Group, which includes popular power tool brands like Milwaukee and Ryobi, 73% of its sales come from the U.S.
Regardless of what happens to Hoover’s Texas plants, things are looking up for its former North Canton, Ohio operation. Back in 2011, Suarez Corporation Industries reshored production of its EdenPure heater to the facility.