Liquid Container L.P., a West Chicago, Ill., extrusion blow molder, has expanded its scope and production significantly by acquiring Plaxicon Co. of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. No purchase price was announced. Bill Williams, president and chief executive officer of Liquid Container, said the acquisition will make the combined company a $150 million-per-year blow molder.
``This is a critical strategic move for both companies,'' Williams said in a July 3 statement. ``We were looking for expansion opportunities at the same time Plaxicon was looking to align with a bigger player in the packaging business to expand its growth potential.''
He said Plaxicon will continue to operate with its present management and name, as a subsidiary of Liquid Container. The California firm specializes in injection stretch blow molding of PET containers, while Liquid Container's focus has been on extrusion blow molded high density polyethylene.
Russ Killion, Liquid Container vice president for sales and marketing, said the acquisition will make both product lines stronger.
``We had been kicking the tires of a number of possibilities for some time, and thought this was the best,'' Killion said. ``We are hoping to leverage into several areas on either side.''
He said Liquid Container had about $100 million in annual sales for 1995, while Plaxicon achieved about $50 million for the same period. The combined company will make containers for applications including foods, edible oils, peanut butter, automotive, personal care, household, agricultural and industrial chemicals. It specializes in wide-mouthed constructions.
Plaxicon, formerly owned by Vorwerk & Co. of Wuppertal, Germany, operates three plants in Rancho Cucamonga; Delta, Ohio; and Prattville, Ala.
Liquid Container operates six North American plants, including three in West Chicago, and one each in Mason, Ohio; Newcastle, Del.; and Modesto, Calif.
Combined, the two companies will be able to take advantage of growth in both of the highest-growth materials in the packaging markets. Liquid Container will capitalize on its new presence in PET blow molding, while the Plaxicon subsidiary will take advantage of the new parent's prominence in the HDPE packaging market.
Williams said the company will continue to focus the majority of its attention on food packaging, but there also will be growth in packaging for automotive, agricultural and household products.