The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 4, 2013

Grand River Rubber acquires division of European company

By STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Grand River Rubber and Plastics’ recent acquisition of a division of European-based Icon Polymer Ltd. will expand the company’s global reach into Europe while combining services and expertise of the two facilities.

Grand River Rubber, an employee-owned vacuum cleaner belt manufacturer, announced it has completed the acquisition of the flat belt drive division of Icon Polymer.

Robert Felber, of Felber PR and Marketing, said the deal will take services from Icon and combine them with the services of Grand River Rubber.

The acquisition could also create two or three new jobs in Ashtabula County, he said.

Grand River Rubber, founded in 1976, employs 200 people in the specialized manufacture of products such as washers, gaskets and pipe support systems for niche applications, as well as vacuum cleaner flat drive belts. The company’s annual sales total about $45 million.

The company is fully employee owned and has operated in the rubber extrusion sector for more than three decades.

Icon is said to be a pioneer in technology for drive belts for vacuum cleaners, with products supplied to major name brands including Electrolux and Hoover.

Both companies are preferred suppliers to the key Chinese sub-contract manufacturing market, where more than 50 percent of their belt products are exported.

Icon and Grand River Rubber are also planning to explore additional collaborative projects.