Graham Packaging Co. of York, Pa., is poised to expand its activities in Europe. The company, a leading blow molder of custom high density polyethylene, PET and other bottles, is seeking a director of packaging development to be based in France and to administer an increased presence on the continent.
Pat Early, a spokesman for Graham, said he was not at liberty to discuss details of what the company planned in Europe, except that the company wanted to keep pace with the moves of large packaging customers worldwide.
``The face of the packaging industry is changing drastically,'' he said. ``As our customers become more multinational in their scope, we are also.''
The increase in European interest comes in the wake of the mammoth merger of Philadelphia-based Crown Cork and Seal Co. Inc., with Paris-based CarnaudMetalbox, creating the largest packaging company in the world. All three companies compete worldwide, with Graham's strengths lying in HDPE container-making. Early said Graham officials declined comment on the Crown merger.
Graham, which ranked fourth on Plastic News' 1995 survey of North American blow molders, with an estimated $425 million in sales, already has several packaging operations in Europe.
In 1993, the company bought the former Seprosy, one of France's largest blow molders, with $70 million in sales annually. The resulting company, now known as Graham Packaging France, operates plants in Lagnieu, Blyes and Assevent, France. The company has a joint venture in the United Kingdom with the Tetra Laval Group, of Laval, Switzerland, a huge paper and plastic packaging conglomerate.
In Italy, Graham owns Techne SpA, of Bologna, one of the largest blow molders in the country. Graham also has plants in Latin America.