August 14. 2017 10:26PM

Combined plastics companies will make new home in Hudson

New Hampshire Union Leader

Machine operator Rany Nath inspects plastic parts while working at at W.K. Hillquist in Hudson on Monday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Two plastic injection-molding companies are melting into one.

Londonderry-based Granite State Plastics, which acquired rival W.K. Hillquist of Hudson, plans to combine the two companies at the Hudson company’s location on Executive Drive.

“We haven’t determined the time lines, but obviously it’s one of the things you want to try to maximize the opportunity by consolidating the two facilities” within the next 18 months, owner Steven Lunder said Monday.

Granite State Plastics employs 27 workers and Hillquist another 45, but Lunder isn’t sure whether all the workers in Londonderry will want to commute another 18 miles each way. Some workers live as far away as Seabrook and north of Concord, he said.

“We don’t anticipate making any cuts,” he said.

Lunder said he expects the merged company still will need to look for more space or build an addition.

Hudson’s 36,000 square feet is about double the size of the Londonderry location.

Timing worked well for the two companies — which count a combined 90 years of injecting-molding experience — to join forces.

“The primary owner of W.K. was looking to retire, and we were looking at multiple options, including a simple real estate transaction and also opportunities for acquisitions,” Lunder said. “We were friendly competitors for many years.”

“It was that we are outgrowing our space, but also we were looking for space that would better suit our needs in the future,” said Lunder, whose Londonderry operations are at 15 Tinker Ave. “They have a fantastic facility there (in Hudson).”

Lunder said the two companies had “very little” overlap in their customer base.

“It was an important part of the equation for sure because you don’t want to cannibalize your opportunities,” Lunder said. “Because the combined company is obviously a larger company, there are going to be customers who previously wouldn’t look at one of the companies because of their individual size and capabilities.”

Granite State Plastics supplies parts and assembly services to several industries, including medical, automotive and sporting goods, including making parts that go into wearable technology to measure a person’s metrics, such as blood pressure.

Mike Torpey, longtime president of W.K. Hillquist, was named president of Granite State Plastics.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with WKH employees for more than 40 years,” Torpey said in a statement. “While I can’t promise Steve another 40 years, I look forward to addressing the challenges ahead with them in the combined company.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.