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TPG Working To Increase Share Of Gas Can Market

The new owners of TPG Plastics LLC, one of America’s major producers of plastic gas cans, hope to increase the company’s share of the market with new products and increased production.

As-is, TPG runs 10 lines at its plant in Willowbrook, IL, producing more than 3 million gas cans a year. Next year, TPG plans to add a new manufacturing line that could increase production by 20 percent.

The market for gas cans in the United States is about 12 million to 15 million a year, according to TPG president Saquib Toor. TPG’s two main competitors are Scepter (owned by Myers Industries) and Midwest, he said.

TPG’s gas cans are marketed under the Briggs & Stratton and Garage Boss brands. The B&S name is licensed, and TPG owns the Garage Boss brand. The first commercial shipments of the Garage Boss product went out in October.

The company is now working with major auto parts stores — including Advance Auto Parts, O’Reilly Automotive, Pep Boys and AutoZone — along with home improvement stores, big box retailers and other channels, to try to sell them more of its products in the coming year.

TPG hopes to differentiate what has historically been considered a commodity by adding security and user-friendly features, Jeff Janson, TPG’s vice president of sales, said. TPG includes its new Flex FMD spark arrester in about 80 percent of cans now, and plans to increase that to 100 percent by next summer, he said.

Other production plans include increasing the manufacturing of drain pans and funnels, as well as moving their production from China to the United States in 2019. Also next year, TPG plans to add absorbents for repair shops, DIY mechanics, etc.

TPG is a new company derived from what was The Plastics Group Inc. (known for the TRUSOLV brand). Owned by a private equity firm, the lender foreclosed on that company.

Beaconhouse Capital Management, a New Jersey investment firm, and a group of other investors purchased the assets of the Willowbrook, IL facility in May. Another plant in Fremont, OH closed.

Toor, managing partner at Beaconhouse, was previously an executive at Centerbridge Partners and JLL Partners, private equity firms in New York. Those firms’ portfolios included such automotive/transportation companies as Hayes Lemmerz, Dana Corp. and Motorcoach Industries.

Beaconhouse principal Pavel Smyshlyaev is TPG’s CFO.      — Sarah Hollander

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