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Sigma Plastics buys Southern Film Extruders

By: Frank Esposito

October 3, 2013

North American film giant Sigma Plastics Group is growing again, this time by acquiring Southern Film Extruders Inc., a polyethylene film manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

No purchase price was disclosed. In an Oct. 3 news release, Sigma Chairman and CEO Alfred Teo said that High Point, N.C.-based Southern “is a well-established, reputable company that complements our industrial film expansion strategy.”

Teo added that Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Sigma “is committed to providing the capital and support necessary to allow Southern Film to reach its full growth potential.”

Southern operates 65 million pounds of capacity at two plants in High Point making monolayer, three-layer, barrier, converter and lamination films. The firm employs 175 and posted sales of $70 million in 2012.

John Barnes, Southern’s general manager, will remain with the firm after the sale.

On Aug. 4, Southern filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in North Carolina. The firm listed assets of $10 million to $50 million and debts of $1 to $10 million in the filing. In late July, Southern’s creditors had filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing against the firm. Southern’s largest creditor was resin supplier Westlake Polymers LLC, which was owed almost $5 million.

The acquisition is Sigma’s fifth in the last five years, but it’s first since 2010, when the firm bought McNeely Plastic Products Inc., a maker of blown film, laminations and bags in Clinton, Miss. In 2009, Sigma bought blown film maker Santa Fe Extruders Inc., in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; FlexSol Packaging Corp. of Pompano Beach, Fla.; and ISO Poly Films Inc. of Gray Court, S.C.

Sigma ranked as North America’s second-largest film and sheet maker in a recent Plastics News survey with sales of $2.45 billion in 2012.