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Scholle buying Brazilian pouch maker

By:

January 14, 2013

Scholle Packaging Inc. has acquired Brazilian performance packaging manufacturer Flexpack Soluções em Embalagens Ltda., a move that expands Scholle’s product offerings.

Flexpack specializes in stand-up and lay-flat pouches. That’s a new area for Scholle, a Northlake, Ill.-based company known for bag-in-box packaging.

Pouches are one of the fastest-growing segments of the packaging industry, said Richard Heath, vice president of new ventures for Scholle, in a phone interview.

The medium has several advantages — pouches are lightweight, use less material, and give brands an advantage in packaging design and messaging, according to Heath. Customers are also attracted to the convenience offered by liquid and semi-liquid products in pouches, he said.

South America is a big area for pouch manufacturing, said Ryan Balock, marketing communications manager.

“It’s a good area to cut our teeth on stand-up pouches,” he said. “We see a potential for a lot of growth there; that’s why we picked that area and that company.”

Flexpack is a small operation. The company has fewer than 15 employees and operates one plant in São Paulo, Heath said.

Scholle plans to transfer operations, and employees, from that plant to Scholle’s facility in Vinhedo, Brazil, located about an hour outside of São Paulo.

The 96,000-square-foot Vinhedo plant currently manufactures bags for retail beverages, fountain syrup, food ingredients, food-service products and non-food applications. It also serves as the headquarters for Scholle’s Latin American business.

In addition to pouches, Flexpack also makes multilayer barrier films. The company primarily serves retail customers — its products are used to package meats, cheese, nuts and other foods, Balock said. Flexpack also serves the automotive, health-care and pharmaceutical markets.

Scholle would not disclose financial details of the transaction.

Scholle Packaging has 10 facilities worldwide. The company is a subsidiary of Irvine, Calif.-based packaging firm Scholle Corp.