LONDON—British industrial conglomerate BTR plc has signed a joint venture deal and is investing 7.6 million ($12.6 million) to establish its second PET packaging company in China. Through its Packaging and Materials Group, BTR bought a 70 percent holding in a new enterprise, ACI Qingdao Plastics Packaging Co. Ltd. in Qingdao, China. BTR already is parent of Continental PET Technologies Inc., third-largest North American blow molder, according to the latest Plastics News ranking.
The new firm's remaining shares will be held by China's Light Industry Corp. of Qingdao.
This is the second PET plastic packaging company operated by BTR in China. In May 1996, BTR purchased a 70 percent share in Beijing Great Wall Plastics Co., a joint venture with Beijing Dougguantou (AIC) Allied Co. Its share since has risen to 80 percent.
Beijing Great Wall produces PET bottles, from 0.3-1.4 liters, used for soft drinks and distilled water. The firm has annual sales of $4.5 million.
The purchase price of BTR's first Chinese PET venture was unavailable.
The Chinese investment is part of BTR's new growth strategy to concentrate on its industrial manufacturing and engineering businesses with top positions in global markets.
BTR is focusing on four worldwide businesses: packaging, automotive, power drives and process controls. The firm said it also is strong in building products and polymers.
BTR has invested $120 million in China, including nonplastics operations.
Meanwhile, BTR reported in December that its PET operations in the United States and Europe have performed well compared with 1995, while laminates in Europe and North America have ``made progress.''
Mixed levels of demand have been reflected in the results of its Polymer Products section. European results have shown a slight decline while profit was up in Australia.
BTR's Packaging and Materials Group has annual sales of 1.4 billion ($2.24 billion).