Another steel strapping producer plans to diversify into plastic strapping by acquisition. A.J. Gerrard & Co. of Des Plaines, Ill., agreed to buy Interlake Corp.'s packaging business for undisclosed terms, the two companies announced April 15. About half of the Interlake packaging business' sales, which totaled $141 million last year, are from plastic strapping, said Gerrard President Tony Tako. The rest of sales are from steel strapping.
Tako said plastic strapping is capturing some of steel's market share and is opening new markets. The deal will give Gerrard synergy in the overall strapping market, he said in a telephone interview.
In February, Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. of Toronto entered plastic strapping production by buying the Wilton Packaging Products division of Wilton Corp. of Palatine, Ill. Samuel officials said they made the deal to capitalize on plastic's growing market share.
Interlake, based in Lisle, Ill., produces polypropylene and PET strapping on six extrusion lines at Fountain Inn, S.C., according to Interlake spokesman Bruce Steimle.
The company distributes plastic strapping in Europe from Maidenhead, England. It also has steel strapping businesses in the United States, Canada and England, which will boost Gerrard's geographical market reach, Tako said.
Gerrard makes steel strapping and wire in Des Plaines and in Florence, Ala. Its annual sales are about $160 million.
Interlake will use proceeds from the sale to pay debt and focus on its other businesses in materials handling and powdered metal for various industries. Steimle said none of Interlake's other businesses include plastics production.
The deal is subject to various approvals.