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Unifrax acquires three more businesses; Purchased firms use ceramic fiber products

A Niagara Falls manufacturer of ceramic fiber insulation products acquired three Ohio-based businesses that purchase its ceramic fiber products.

Unifrax closed Monday on its purchase of Refractory Specialties, Specialty Ceramics and VacuForm Inc. The acquisition is Unifrax's second in less than a week, following the company's purchase of Super Saffil Ltd. and Saffil America, which make and sell high-temperature polycrystalline wool materials.

The three Ohio businesses make shapes with the heat-resistant ceramic fiber made by Unifrax. The insulation products are used in many high-temperature industrial, automotive and fire-protection purposes.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"They're one of our largest customers in North America," said David Brooks, Unifrax's president and chief executive officer.

"They each bring a product offering and technology that will make us a stronger business," he said. "We think that it's a growing segment [and] an opportunity to sell more value-added products to our customers."

Unifrax employs about 1,400 people worldwide and has 20 manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The Sebring, Ohio-based Refractory Specialties and VacuForm, and the Columbiana, Ohio-based Specialty Ceramics employ 140 people.

Richard Wilk, who heads Refractory Specialties and Specialty Ceramics, and Michael Hubbs, the principal at VacuForm, will stay with the businesses under Unifrax's ownership.

e-mail: mtighe@buffnews.com