By: Jessica Holbrook
May 30, 2013
Bemis Co. Inc. has sold its shrink film division Clysar to Cove Point Holdings LLC, a privately held investment firm based in New York.
Renamed Clysar LLC, Clysar will operate as a stand-alone, independent company. Its headquarters will move from Oshkosh, Wis., to Clinton, Iowa, the site of the company’s extrusion and converting campus and its original hometown. The Oshkosh location did not have manufacturing operations and will close.
Clysar officials would not disclose terms of the deal.
Clysar says it is one of the largest manufacturers of high-performance polyolefin shrink films for packaging applications. Its films are sold through two-step distribution and used strictly in non-barrier applications.
The company has about 300 employees. Employees at the Oshkosh office can transfer to the new Clinton headquarters.
The move will put all of the company’s primary functions, and it’s leadership, in one location, and ensure that everyone is firing on the same cylinder, said Vicki Larson, Clysar’s director of sales and marketing, by phone.
Clysar plans to add 8 to 10 news job in Clinton over the next month or two.
Operating as a private company will allow Clysar to focus on specific growth strategies. The company is currently number two in the shrink film market, behind Sealed Air Corp, Larson said. New technologies and innovations in areas like downgauged film will let Clysar not just compete in the marketplace, but move past the competition, she said.
Clysar will also have a chance to revitalize its research and development work and focus on new innovations, like opening up new markets for shrink films, she said.
As a stand-alone, the company also has more of an entrepreneurial spirit, she said. Cove Point and Clysar are willing to take more risk in developing a new opportunity, something that isn’t possible in a larger company.
“[We can] kind of take the blinders off a little,” she said.
Clysar was started 50 years ago by DuPont Co. and purchased by Bemis in 2002.
Clysar was one of Bemis’ smallest subsidiaries — it didn’t have a global reach as large as other businesses — and was the only business that sold into a distribution network rather than through direct sales. “We really weren’t a fit,” Larson said.
She noted that Clysar doesn’t make barrier films, like Bemis’ large Curwood division, or offer the same services as the firm’s new performance packaging business segment.
Bemis has been reorganizing since its purchase of the Food Americas operations of Alcan Packaging in 2010. When the company completes its facility consolidation plan later this year, it will have closed nine plants and moved production to other facilities.
“Now was just a good time for us to re-execute our vision and Bemis to execute theirs,” Larson said.
Bemis, based in Neenah, Wis., is one of the country’s largest packaging firms and is North America’s largest film and sheet manufacturer with annual sales of $5.3 billion, according to the most recent Plastics News ranking.
Bemis did not return calls seeking comment.
Cove Point is wholly owned by its chairman, William C. Morris. The firm said it aims to own, operate and grow manufacturing businesses in the United States.