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Arthurs-Jones Inc. entered thermoformed packaging markets when it bought Jay Packaging Group Inc. on Jan. 31.

Jay Packaging makes blisters, clamshells, trays and other plastic packaging at its plants in Warwick, R.I., and Scottsburg, Ind. Plastics will account for about a third of its estimated sales of $30 million this year, according to President Dick Kelly. The rest of sales are in paper-based packaging, printing and custom contract packaging.

Jay Packaging uses an undisclosed number of Sencorp platen thermoformers and buys sheet and rollstock.

Most of its 210 employees work at the Warwick headquarters facility. It sells to personal-care, music, hand tool, electronics and other markets, and counts Duracell, Stanley Tool, Gillette and Revlon among its major customers.

Arthurs-Jones of Toronto and five Jay Packaging managers paid about C$24 million (US$17.8 million) for Jay Packaging. Exeter Venture Capital Co. of New York previously owned the 52-year-old company. Kelly is one of the new owners and will continue as president, he said in a telephone interview from Warwick.

Jay Packaging will strengthen Arthurs-Jones' North American packaging business, said Leland Verner, Arthurs-Jones chairman and chief executive officer. Arthurs-Jones' other businesses include specialty printing and paper packaging, labels and pressure-sensitive materials. Verner said there are ``tremendous opportunities'' to cross-market packaging among its sheet-fed printing, labels and specialty packaging divisions.