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Hunt Corp. Sold

Norman Davies

Grumbler in Training
Hunt Corp has sold it's shares to Berwind Corp. a privately held conglomerate. www.berwind.com Hunt has been a long time supplier to the picture frame business with the Beinfang Foamboard and Seal products. Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the picture framing industry? I am interested in your views.
 
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Framerguy

PFG, Picture Framing God
Good, bad, or indifferent, I get tired of updating my contact phone numbers and names when another company gets bought out by a bigger fish!!

Man, it's getting hard just to keep up with who is buying out who and where the customer support is going to come from. I hardly get to learn a customer rep's name when they are replaced or moved to a different position as a result of a buyout.

I guess part of it is knowing that, as a result of each buyout, the company in question becomes a smaller part of a largere congomerate and the personal touch becomes less and less with each change of hands.

Framerguy
 

John Richards

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
This actually happened some time ago and Seal is now Bienfang. I suggested they rename the VacuSeal - Vacufang but no one really thought it was a good idea. Still same great products and fantastic service. No changes as far as distributors can see.
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I thought it should be the Seal Hunt press, but I suppose that would have some unfortunate among animal rights groups.

I've only had direct contact with the former Hunt-Seal-Bienfang company twice in 25 years. The second time, I spent the first ten minutes verifiying that I was actually calling the company that made my Vacuseal Press. In both cases, I was calling to get replacement thermostat boards that had burned out. They shipped them overnight Fed-Ex with very explicit directions for installation.

As long as I can still get that kind of service on those very rare occassions when I need it, I don't care who owns the company or what they call it.
 

R Allan

Grumbler
That was actually a restructuring with Neschen that handed the large quantity rolls (for the screen print and repro industries) of laminate/mounting tissue over to Neschen (which became Seal Graphics USA) for distribution (they manufactured the laminate for Hunt/Seal in the first place) and Seal Graphics became a distributor of foam for Hunt. Then the Hunt/Bienfang repackaged the smaller rolls of laminate/mounting tissue to distribute to smaller industries like the picture framing trade.

I apologize if that seems very mixed up, it sure was when I first dealt with it.
 

Alan Sturgess

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
To those who want further clarification of Richard's post.

In September 2001, the NESCHEN organization that is based in Germany purchased the roll laminator and laminate business from the HUNT CORP. The SEAL brand name was included with this purchase. With the purchase also went the various manufacturing facilities that Hunt/Seal had acquired over the previous 10 years. Hunt/Seal had purchased companies in Holland and in England that manufactured roll laminators and vinyl laminates. About five years ago they had purchased the Sallmetal Company in Holland that specialized in the production of laminates and equipment for cold pressure sensitive laminating and glueing. They had also purchased a prime minufacturer of vinyl laminates in England called Coating Specialties, that at one time even supplied laminates to DRYTAC.

The Wisconsin manufacturing facility that makes the large SEAL roll laminators was included in the sale to Neschen.

The only equipment that HUNT CORP now makes for the picture framing industry are the Vacuum Presses like the 4468 VacuSeal and the 500TX. These are now made near their Bienfang manufacturing facility in Statesville, North Carolina.

When Hunt sold the company to Neschen they used an arbitrary measurement to detrmine what laminates were to be sold by which company. Hunt/Bienfang still sells the old Seal laminates to the frame industry but they cannot be on cores larger than 1 inch. The new Seal Americas division of Neschen sells laminates on 3 inch cores that will fit on the large roll laminators. The typical frame shop will buy the 1 inch core rolls that are only 50 ft long from their frame supply distributor.

The old Seal Print Guard laminates are now packaged with the following labels on the boxes - Bienfang Print Guard Lustre or Satin Matte and in fact are made by one on the production facilities they sold to NESCHEN.

If you are a framer using good volumes of laminates then you should seek out a distributor servicing the large format industry as you will be able to buy wider and longer rolls of laminate and you will save a few dollars. Very few wholesale frame distributors sell the longer and wide rolls of Print Guard so you may have to shop around to find the long rolls from a supplier to the digital image/large format industry. In Canada we are one of only two distributors selling to both the framing and the wide format industries. We have found our framing distributor competitors, who will remain unnamed, telling frame shops that long rolls are no longer available. They are correct in that they are not available to them, but are from other distributors.

The new offer to purchase the Hunt Corporation by the Berwind Group of Philadelphia may or may not go through. Since Hunt Corp is a public company the shareholders must approve the purchase of their shares. Here are some web sites if you really want to broaden your knowledge of the industry and waste some more time on the Web.

Neschen web site: http://www.neschen.com

Hunt Web Site: http://www.hunt-corp.com

Hunt Web Site for framing http://www.forframersonly.com

Seal Ameicas Large format laminates and laminators

http://www.sealbrands.com/websites/sealbrands/HWMN.nsf/Seal+Main?OpenFrameSet

Does this eliminate the huh ?

Alan Sturgess
 

Alan Sturgess

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Marc - I think the correct expression up here would have been - uh-huh eh !

Alan
 
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