NEW YORK - Owens-Illinois Inc. is on the prowl for acquisitions in plastics packaging, but not necessarily in one area where it is already a market leader. The Toledo, Ohio-based company is looking at a variety of what it considers growth areas for plastics: blow molded tubes, nonbeverage PET bottles, plastic labels, sheet extrusion, printing, injection molding and compression molded closures.
In plastics, O-I has a three-prong growth strategy that includes acquisitions, inter-national expansion and internal growth, said Lee A. Wesselmann, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
Interestingly, O-I is not considering any moves in its core plastic bottle business, which accounted for more than half of its 1994 plastics sales of $976.1 million.
``Plastic bottles are a commodity,'' Wesselmann said May 15 at the PaineWebber Packaging Wrap-Up conference, held May 15-16 in New York. ``We don't want to grow in commodities. We want to grow in specialties.''
He said O-I has David G. Van Hooser, vice president and general manager of plastic components operations, ``searching the world for acquisitions.''
``We're strong in Latin America in glass. There's no reason why we can't go and pursue those same customers with plastics,'' mostly closures, he said.