logo

Trellis Earth Products buying Cereplast assets

By: Frank Esposito

June 23, 2014

Bioplastics products maker Trellis Earth Products Inc. has acquired the assets of bankrupt bioplastic materials firm Cereplast Inc. for $2.6 million.

The deal includes a 105,000-square-foot production plant in Seymour, Ind., as well as production equipment, patents, inventory and trademarks. Wilsonville, Ore.-based Trellis also will pay some costs related to Cereplast’s Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings.

“We have long wanted to mark our products as ‘Made in the U.S.A.,” Trellis CEO Mike Senzaki said in a June 20 news release. “The acquisition of this factory will enable us to quickly become the pre-eminent American supplier of bioplastic food service compostables.”

Trellis was formed in 2007 and provides bio-based cutlery, food containers and shopping bags to more than 500 customers, including the Kroger’s, Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s grocery store chains. The firm expects to post annual sales of $8.5 million in 2015.

In July 2013, Trellis relocated production from China to a former Eastman Kodak plant in Gates, N.Y. Officials said the move was made because of rising costs in China.

Cereplast had long been a visible proponent of the bioplastics market, but the firm struggled to find commercial success. It filed for bankruptcy in February after reporting a loss of $34 million for the first nine months of 2013. Cereplast’s annual sales were around $1 million.

Cereplast was founded in California and operated there for several years before relocating to Seymour in 2013. The firm’s products include bioplastics based on vegetable matter, as well as a new product based on algae biomass.