Berry Plastics Corp. continues to expand its markets and product lines with the purchase of mostly all the assets of Tri-Plas Inc. of Ontario, Calif., by Berry Tri-Plas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Berry Plastics. Terms were undisclosed.
This is the second acquisition in less than a year for the Evansville, Ind.-based manufacturer and marketer of plastic containers, aerosol overcaps and drink cups. In March, the company acquired Sterling Products Inc.
Martin Imbler, Berry's president and chief executive, said the purchase of Tri-Plas' assets is an important strategic move.
``It gives us an immediate presence in the fast-growing food container business and a complete polypropylene product line,'' Imbler said. ``It also provides us with two plants well-situated to serve key Eastern markets.''
The Tri-Plas acquisition gives Berry its first line of PP containers, a key product and a ``natural fit for us to expand'' in the company's markets, he said.
``Also, [Tri-Plas] has a patented tamper-evident lid forfood containers and it is important for us to gain the rights to that lid,'' Imbler said in a telephone interview.
In addition to the Ontario facility, Tri-Plas owned and operated plants in Charlotte, N.C., and York, Pa., serving the food and dairy packaging industries. Tri-Plas has annual net sales of about $17 million.
The majority of Tri-Plas' business at the Ontario facility already has been moved to Berry's Henderson, Nev., plant. One of Tri-Plas' major customers, which Tri-Plas declined to identify, purchased its portion of the business from Tri-Plas and took over the Ontario plant operations molding its own products on a proprietary basis.
Berry will continue operations as usual at Tri-Plas' other plants, which for Berry Plastics will be the fifth and sixth plants in its system. Berry relocated some of Tri-Plas' Ontario employees to Charlotte and to Berry's Nevada plant. Prior to the acquisition, Berry employed about 1,000.
Frank DeVore, former president and owner of Tri-Plas, said this was an appropriate time to sell Tri-Plas. It will benefit from Berry's technical manufacturing expertise, access to capital and nationwide capacity.
DeVore will remain with Berry Tri-Plas in a consulting role to the company for the foreseeable future.
``[DeVore] is very well-known in the industry and we believe he can help us with industry-related issues,'' Imbler said. ``He's also knowledgeable with customers and product lines, and can help us with several key customers and in the area of new product development.''
DeVore said he was trying to find jobs at other plastics processors in southern California for the Ontario workers who were not relocated to other Berry plants or retained by the former Tri-Plas customer now operating the Ontario facility.
In addition to plants in Evansville and Henderson, Berry operates plants in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and Winchester, Va. Berry Plastics had 1994 net sales of $106.1 million and recently announced net sales of $106.4 million for the first three quarters of 1995.