By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Nomaco, Inc. has announced the sale of its Spongex manufacturing plant in Tarboro to Swimways Corp, a privately owned leisure and recreational water products manufacturer based in Virginia Beach, Va. The Spongex plant, located at 3002 Anaconda Road, has 45 employees, and the changeover to Swimways’ ship got under way Jan. 1.
Spongex is a producer of floats, loungers and luxury noodle-shaped floats and is known for its Aqua Cell foam technology, an “exclusive and made in the USA custom closed-cell foam molding process,” according to a news release on the sale of the manufacturing operation.
“We are very excited to welcome the team from Spongex to the Swimways family,” said Swimways President David Arias. “Our operations team is working hand in hand with the team in Tarboro to make sure the transition is as seamless as possible. We will be working together to uncover any areas that may need changing in the future; however, our first course of action will be to integrate our systems and make sure the two facilities are in good communication.”
Arias said Spongex products will be distributed under the SwimWays brand beginning in 2015. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nomaco will continue to operate its other two Tarboro facilities – Nomaco Insulation and Nomaco Engineered Foam Solutions – both located at 3006 Anaconda Road, just across the parking lot from Spongex.
Spongex has been in operation since November 2007. Nomaco was established in 1979 and came to Tarboro in 1997.
“Since 1997, we have been able to build terrific teams of committed employees for our businesses in Tarboro and they continue to do great things,” said Nomaco’s CEO Claude Demby. “Today, we have more than 130 full-time and part-time associates employed by Nomaco Insulation and Nomaco Engineered Foam Solutions (EFS) in Tarboro. We remain excited about and committed to growing our Insulation and EFS businesses in this community.”
Demby said Nomaco found an “optimum purchasing partner” for Spongex in Swimways.
“It was important to us to identify an organization interested in remaining in the Tarboro community. We are delighted that Swimways recognized the value of the employees and operations in place and will provide Spongex the strategic alignment needed for long-term success,” Demby said.
Nomaco’s business communications specialist Allison Stroud echoed those thoughts, saying that Spongex needed to be part of a company that’s a “better strategic fit” in order to grow and flourish, and Swimways fit the bill because it is a “large company focused on acquatic leisure products and the end customers associated with those products.”
“The addition of Spongex's exclusive foam float technology allows us to further our commitment to producing fun and innovative pool and leisure products. Spongex's product range will enhance our existing collection of pool floats, including our popular Spring Float assortment,” Arias said.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present the Spongex items as part of the SwimWays portfolio, and we are well underway in the process of presenting the line to our retail partners, which include Target, Walmart, Sam's Club and thousands of independent dealer partners throughout the United States,” Arias added.
Spongex products currently are sold at Sam’s Club, Leslie’s, Frontgate and other specialty pool retailers nationwide.
While Swimways focuses specifically on acquatic leisure products, Nomaco focuses on creating and delivering “innovative, engineered, foam solutions,” according to Demby.
“Whether through pipe insulation, oil boom, construction products, specialty packaging, cushioning or custom products, our businesses solve customers’ challenges,” Demby said.
“Fundamentally, we are a company that wants to do what is best for our customers, our employees and our communities,” he added.