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Acquisition brings injection molder, thermoformer together

By: Jim Johnson

May 2, 2014

Both companies are both family owned. They are both lead by their second generations. And they share similar values, including the concept of putting the customer first.

But Placon Corp.’s acquisition of Plastic Packaging Corp. of West Springfield, Mass., does bring together two businesses that are certainly different in one key respect.

Placon makes thermoformed packaging, and Plastic Packaging Corp. makes injection molded products.

This is a deal that allows Madison, Wis.-based Placon to expand its offerings as part of what the company calls a strategic plan to increase its “breadth and depth of capabilities across multiple foodservice market segments.”

Plastic Packaging makes injected molded polyethylene and polypropylene containers, cups, tubs, pails and lids.

Acquisitions are part of a “multi-faceted growth strategy” for Placon that also includes organic growth, CEO Dan Mohs said.

“PPC marketed the deal and Placon was in the middle of an acquisition initiative and the timing, just coincidentally, worked out very well for the both of us,” Mohs said.

“If you look at their products and ours, we’re one of the larger deli producers in our foodservice product line and their injection molded product line actually complements what we do very nicely,” the CEO said.

Mohs said that he found, during his due diligence with customers, that both companies’ products were being used by shared customers.

“I found that our products are side-by-side in a number of our customers, almost all of them. That, to me, means there’s value to both. And we can bring both of the technologies into one market and have some selling synergies there,” Mohs said.

Plastic Packaging dates back to 1954 when it was founded by Fred Weiss.

“Looking toward the future, combining with Placon is the perfect fit for our customers and employees,” said President Susan Weiss Firestone, in a statement.

Finding a like-minded partner certainly helps with the integration.

“It’s not just important to us and to our employees, but it’s also important to our customers. A lot of the customers will tell you that they feel more comfortable with family-held business, smaller, privately held companies,” Mohs said.

“We feel that just not with our employees, but with our customers that there are common values there too. And while we may be growing, we work very hard to maintain our family values, our culture. These things are something that we spend a lot of time talking about and working on,” he said.

The deal includes Plastic Packaging’s 100,000-square-foot facility in West Springfield that employees 141.

P&M Corporate Finance served as financial adviser to Placon. George K. Baum Capital Advisors represented Plastic Packaging.