Big fertilizer maker buys Summerville firms manufacturing line
A big fertilizer maker that bought the manufacturing line of a tiny Summerville company this week plans to use the equipment to roll out a new technology.
X-Calibur Plant Health Co. ceased its McQueen Park operations Monday, when the deal with ICL Group’s Everris Americas division was completed.
The sale included packaging equipment and a line that applies special coatings that control when fertilizer gets released. Terms were not disclosed.
Everris Americas said the investment will help it launch in early 2013 a new coating technology it is developing at its global research center in the Netherlands.
The company said the deal also will complement its existing locally made product, which is sold under the brand name Osmocote.
Everris Americas already has a manufacturing site in North Charleston, and it plans to keep both plants. The newly acquired coating line and other assets will remain in X-Calibur’s former 42,000-square-foot factory in the Jedburg area.
“Purchasing the X-Calibur equipment provides us with an ideal solution for our expansion needs,” said Ariana Cohen, president of Everris Americas.
“We require additional manufacturing capabilities to bring our new controlled-release fertilizer technology from concept to the marketplace.
“The equipment acquired meets our needs, and its proximity to our existing Charleston production facility will enable us to realize significant efficiencies as we ramp up production of both existing and new products.”
Hiring plans for the Summerville site have not been finalized, said Ryan Lewis, the company’s manager of marketing and communications.
Everris Americas is owned by ICL Group, a global specialty chemical business headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel,
The company’s U.S. unit is based in Dublin, Ohio, and has been operating on Investment Drive in Pepperdam Industrial Park for about a year.
In early 2011, Everris Americas bought a business from Scotts Miracle Gro that started making fertilizer in North Charleston more than two decades ago.
“We actually still manufacture Osmocote for Scotts there,” Lewis said.
It was unclear how many jobs were affected by the closing of X-Calibur. When the Mainland, Pa.-based company expanded to the region in 2007, it said its goal was to employ about 25 workers in Dorchester County.
Don Hanson, vice president and general manager for X-Calibur’s Summerville business, declined to comment Wednesday, other than to say “we’re no longer in production.”
Reach John McDermott at 937-5572.