Deal combines US packaging thermoformers

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Nelipak Corp. Flexpak Corp. is based in Phoenix and will operate under the name Nelipak Healthcare Packaging.

Thermoformed medical packager Nelipak Corp. is expanding its North American holdings and access to the U.S. health care market with the purchase of Phoenix-based custom packager Flexpak Corp.

Cranston, R.I.-based Nelipak announced July 28 that it had closed on the acquisition of Flexpak for an undisclosed amount. The business will be owned by Nelipak and operate under the name Nelipak Healthcare Packaging.

“We are thrilled to expand our global manufacturing footprint and gain greater access to the U.S. and Mexican markets with the acquisition of Flexpak,” said Mike Kelly, president and CEO of Nelipak. “This acquisition enables us to better support our customers, and the Flexpak team and facility complement our current capabilities.”

Founded in 1953 in the southern Netherlands, Nelipak has more than 500 employees worldwide and plants in Cranston, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Costa Rica. From 2005 until late last year the company was a division of Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air Corp.'s medical applications business; it was spun off and purchased by private equity firm Mason Wells of Milwaukee purchased in December 2013.

Sealed Air had purchased the business in 2006, and then it added to its medical packaging business a year later when it bought Alga Plastics Co. of Cranston, R.I. Alga began as a family business in 1961.

Flexpak, founded in 1974, is a manufacturer of custom thermoformed trays, clamshells, and blisters with an emphasis on medical markets and some lines designed for the consumer and food markets. In February the company announced new equipment purchases and plans to expand operations in Mexico, where about 40 percent of Flexpak's business was already generated. The merger is expected to continue that growth track.

“This is an incredible growth opportunity for Flexpak's employees and its customers,” said Steven Murray, president and CEO of Flexpak, in a news release. “With access to Nelipak's global capabilities, we look forward expanding the Southwest U.S. and Northern Mexican markets and exploring new ways to enhance our value to customers.”

Flexpak is No. 81 in Plastics News' ranking of North American thermoformers, with sales of $11 million.  Nelipak ranked No. 42 in the listing, with estimated North American sales of $30 million.