NEW YORK - After years of languishing as a small part of a huge conglomerate, Packaging Corp. of America is suddenly a major business for Tenneco Inc., and PCA is taking advantage of its new significance. PCA, based in Evanston, Ill., plans to double its sales to $4 billion and triple its profit to $600 million within five years, through both acquisitions and hefty investment in its diverse business.
One area already under development is thermoforming, where PCA increased capacity 10 percent in 1994 and plans another 10 percent increase this year, said Paul T. Stecko, PCA's president and chief executive officer. He did not provide details on the project.
``Expansion into new plastic materials will continue,'' he said, including production of thermoformed polypropylene containers that can go from the freezer to the microwave.
PCA also plans to expand its international sales during the next five years to $600 million annually from the current level of $150 million, Stecko said. The growth will come in both plastics and paperboard - PCA already has a PVC films plant in Livingston, England.
``We are actively looking for acquisitions to double the size of this business,'' according to Stecko.
In addition to plastics, PCA makes aluminum, molded fiber, pressed paperboard, paperboard and corrugated containers, and is backward-integrated into the wood and paper milling industry.
Tenneco, based in Houston, was once a major oil and natural gas company that dabbled in other markets as diverse as shipbuilding, farm equipment, chemicals, agriculture and automotive parts. But four years ago the company undertook a major restructuring, leaving PCA as one of three core growth businesses.