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Anchor Packaging adds building in Arkansas

By: Michael Lauzon

March 21, 2013

ST. LOUIS -- Food packaging major Anchor Packaging Inc. has acquired a building in Jonesboro. Ark., that it is converting to a warehouse and in which it eventually will introduce manufacturing.

Anchor, a major thermoformer and film extruder based in St. Louis, Mo., paid an undisclosed amount for the 423,000 square foot building that boosts the firm's total manufacturing and warehousing space to more than 2 million square feet.

The deal was completed Feb. 25, said spokeswoman Marilyn Stapleton in a telephone interview.

"This acquisition provides the space necessary to support our continued growth for the next several years," stated Robert R. Hermann, chairman and CEO of Hermann Cos. Inc., the St. Louis parent company of Anchor, in a news release.

Anchor's main thermoforming operations are in Paragould, Ark., and Mount Vernon, Ky. Anchor bought the latter operation, a shuttered facility that was known as Alcoa Inc.'s Mount Vernon Packaging business, in spring of 2012.

Anchor's North American thermoforming sales were about $234 million in 2012 out of a corporate total of $338 million, according to a recent market study by Plastics News.

Anchor's main film plants are in Paragould and Marmaduke, Ark., and in San Juan, Argentina. Its North American film and sheet sales were about $105 million in 2011.

Paragould has 310,000 square feet of space, Mount Vernon, 165,000 square feet and Marmaduke's production area is 230,000 square feet. The Argentina plant occupies 130,000 square feet. Main distribution sites are in Marmaduke (100,000 square feet) and Paragould (700,000 square feet).

Stapleton said Anchor plans to expand the injection molding capacity acquired in Mount Vernon last year but she provided no timetable for the plan. Mount Vernon has focused on thermoforming.

Hermann said Anchor has six centers of excellence in the processes of thermoforming, multilayer extrusion, blown film, injection molding, printing and trim-in-place technologies.

The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. It says its products include upscale take-out packaging for ready-to-heat meals in supermarkets and take-out meals in restaurants and food-service operations.