Former Rexam business launches as KubeTech

Published: January 2, 2013 6:00 am ET

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Topics Packaging, Mergers & Acquisitions, Injection Molding, Molds/Tooling

PITTSBURGH (Updated Jan. 3, 2:40 p.m. ET) — KubeTech Custom Molding Inc., a new company formed from Rexam plc’s divested home and personal care business, launched Jan. 2.

Based in Pittsburgh, KubeTech bills itself as a leader in cube and stack injection mold design, development and production.

The company specializes in custom molding and assembly and is capable of making a variety of parts, from simple injection molded products to ones that require sophisticated design techniques, said CEO Steve Wirrig in a phone interview.

“We have the capability to produce a wide range of products for a variety of customers…it gives us a balanced portfolio,” he said.

Wirrig is the former managing director of Rexam’s home and personal care business.

It may be a new company, but KubeTech comes with decades of experience.

When packaging giant Rexam, known for beverage can production, entered the plastics business, it embarked on an acquisition spree. One of those purchases was Precise Technology Inc., which Rexam bought for $275 million in 2005 and made part of its personal care division.

Precise specialized in contract manufacturing and molding, and it had a reputation for its highly technical, heavily automated manufacturing process and customer-focused approach.

Last year, when Rexam looked to divest the personal care division, it billed the former Precise as a unique, stand-alone business, Wirrig said.

Rexam sold the personal care division to two separate buyers in July 2012.

Silgan Holdings Inc. purchased Rexam’s thermoformed high-barrier food packaging business, part of the personal care division, for $250 million.

An affiliate of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. purchased the rest of Rexam’s home and personal care business for $459 million.

That sale included KubeTech, which will operate as a stand-alone company with backing as an affiliate of Sun Capital.

The same people and technical capabilities that made Precise a significant business are now part of KubeTech, Wirrig said.

“This is a historic organization,” he said.

KubeTech set its headquarters in Pittsburgh, near Precise’s former home of North Versailles, Pa. The company has about 500 employees and plants in Anderson, S.C.; Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Newark, Del., and Lodz, Poland.

KubeTech has retained some of Precise’s long-term customers — ones with relationships spanning 20 years – and picked up new customers under Rexam, Wirrig said.

He would not disclose details, but Wirrig said that KubeTech should have sales “well over $100 million” its first year.

KubeTech is primarily focused on personal care products – deodorant packaging, tampon applicators, containers and lids for baby wipes, and air freshener components, to name a few, Wirrig said.

Going forward, the company plans to expand into different markets, like food products and closures, where Precise used to do business, he said.

“Our primary focus is on winning new programs and growth platforms…looking at all of the opportunities coming in the door, making sure we win our fair share of them, and executing flawlessly for our customers,” he said.

KubeTech is also looking at plant optimization. The company’s current locations are former Rexam plants and designed to house two businesses, so KubeTech has an excess of floor space, Wirrig said.

In addition to KubeTech, Sun Capital purchased Rexam’s cosmetics division, which specializes in dispensing systems and make up packaging.

Sun Capital plans to integrate that business, including its 11 plants, into its existing personal care portfolio company Albéa.

With the acquisition, Albéa, headquartered in Gennevilliers, France, now has 46 plants in 14 countries.


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Former Rexam business launches as KubeTech

Published: January 2, 2013 6:00 am ET

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