Sonoco buys Germany's Weidenhammer, plans for thin-walled packaging growth

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 25, 2014 1:41 pm ET
Updated: August 25, 2014 3:49 pm ET

Image By: Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH makes a range of plastic and paper containers.

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Mergers & Acquisitions, Injection Molding, United States, Europe

Sonoco Products Co.’s acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group GmbH of Germany includes plastic packaging technology that the company is targeting for growth in the United States.

The $383 million deal, naturally, features plenty of talk about the paper packaging aspects of both companies. That’s the bulk of their respective businesses.

But the move also includes Weidenhammer Plastic Packaging with a plant in Zwenkau, Germany, near Leipzig, that includes production of cups, cans and containers with volumes of at least 100 milliliters. Buckets made there range from 1 to 11.4 liters.

Polypropylene, according to Weidenhammer, “is virtually the only raw material used.”

“Weidenhammer is a leader in thin-walled injection molded containers that utilize in-mold labeling. Production of this thin-wall package should grow to approximately $20 million in annual sales by the end of 2015,” Sonoco CEO M. Jack Sanders said on a conference call Aug. 25 to discuss the deal.

“And we believe there’s significant opportunities to grow this technology in the U.S.,” he said.

Overall, Sonoco gains 13 locations, including five in Germany. There also are also sites in Kansas City, Mo., as well as Belgium, Chile, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Russia and United Kingdom, Sonoco said.

Approximately 1,100 employees will come over to Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco in the deal expected to close during the fourth quarter.

Weidenhammer, a family owned business based in Hockenheim, expects sales of approximately $327 million this year. That compares with Sonoco’s $4.9 billion in annual sales.

“The decision to sell our shares was not an easy one,” CEO Ralf Weidenhammer said in a statement.  "However, we are convinced that the merger is the right step at the right time, and that it will open up new and important future perspectives to WPG and its employees."

Weidenhammer markets the PermaSafe line of containers that the company touts as a plastic replacement for metal food cans and glass jars that is easier to handle, lighter and more cost effective.

One stock analyst, on the conference call, asked company officials why they are optimistic about the thin-walled plastics portion of the Weidenhammer business.

Sanders pointed to the high-barrier and in-mold labeling properties of Weidenhammer’s container business. “That opens up a new series of markets that traditionally that’s not been applicable,” he said.


Comments

Sonoco buys Germany's Weidenhammer, plans for thin-walled packaging growth

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 25, 2014 1:41 pm ET
Updated: August 25, 2014 3:49 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Atkore expands in PVC conduit, buying American Pipe & Plastics

October 20, 2014 6:06 pm ET

Atkore International Inc. of Harvey, Ill., has acquired PVC conduit maker American Pipe & Plastics Inc. of Kirkwood, N.Y., which serves the...    More

Image

Report: Suspected former Nazi with plastic connection collecting Social Security

October 20, 2014 3:52 pm ET

AKRON, OHIO — A one-time plastics executive in Akron is among dozens of suspected former Nazis who have been collecting U.S. Social Security...    More

Molder expands in France with new clean room

October 20, 2014 1:30 pm ET

Global Closure Systems (GCS), a global injection molding producer, showed off its new ISO 7 clean room at its Astra Plastique factory in France...    More

Molder goes to auction block

October 17, 2014 12:17 pm ET

An Illinois custom injection molding operation will be auctioned off after its owner decided to close the business.    More

Image

Humanoid robot provides inspection service with a smile

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Everyone knows robots can improve production and quality. But no one says they can't show a little personality while they're working.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events