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Hilex Poly buys world's largest paper bag maker

By: Gayle S. Putrich

June 17, 2014

South Carolina plastic bag manufacturer and recycler Hilex Poly is acquiring Duro Bag Manufacturing Co., the largest paper bag manufacturer in the world, the companies announced June 17.

No amount was disclosed for the transaction, which is expected to close at the end of the second quarter, pending customary conditions and regulatory approvals. . The combined company will have over 3,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and more than 600 in Canada and Mexico.

Hilex is majority owned by Wind Point Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm.

“Completing acquisitions was a key value driver we had outlined when we invested in Hilex. The Duro Bag acquisition is a great opportunity to grow our product offerings, providing better value for our customers,” Alex Washington, a managing director at Wind Point, said in a news release.

“The acquisition of Duro Bag will enable us to expand our portfolio of 100 percent recyclable products to meet customer demands as well as broaden our reach to other market segments,” said Stan Bikulege, chairman and CEO of Hilex Poly. “We are pleased and excited to welcome the Duro Bag family into Hilex.”

Hilex has been at the epicenter of recent efforts to stem the tide of point-of-sale plastic bag bans around the United States, spearheading the Bag-the-Ban campaign to encourage cities and states to adopt more robust recycling programs instead of banning or taxing plastic bags. In some places, paper bags have also been caught up in the bans.

A year ago, Hilex diversified its product mix beyond plastic grocery bags by buying part of the North American Flexible Packaging division of Clondalkin Group Holdings Ltd.

The deal included Fortune Plastics Inc., Accutech Plastics Inc. and Direct Plastics Ltd.