Outlook Group Corp. plans to sell a film production subsidiary it bought less than two years ago. Menasha, Wis.-based Outlook said Sept. 26 it wants to focus on its packaging and graphics operations. It intends to sell blown film producer Barrier Films Corp. of Reno, Nev., and Outlook Foods Inc., an Oconomowoc, Wis., producer of dry-blended foods, over the next six months.
Larry Driscoll, Outlook Group's chief financial officer, said Outlook Group wants to focus on customer needs through its converting, laminating and printing operations and does not need to be vertically integrated to achieve that goal. Barrier Films has emphasized produce films, but Outlook Group's converting business is weighted to meat, cheese and snack packaging.
Geography also frustrated Outlook Group's ability to integrate Barrier Films. The latter's location in Reno is far from Outlook Group's converting plants in Wisconsin and Kansas.
Driscoll said Outlook Group expanded Barrier Films to a three-line blown film operation soon after it bought the Reno business. He did not disclose Barrier Films' sales but said they were less than 10 percent of Outlook Group's total of $111.4 million for the year ended May 31. Outlook Group lost $5.6 million for the year, partly because of various year-end writeoffs and higher than expected startup and development costs associated with Barrier Films and other businesses.
Driscoll said Barrier Films ``broke even'' in the first quarter of Outlook Group's fiscal 1997. A few companies have expressed interest in Barrier Films but Outlook Group has not limited its search for a buyer to these firms, according to Driscoll. Outlook Group probably will hire an outside firm to help it sell Barrier Films and Outlook Foods.