British Polythene Industries plc plans to cut as many as 100 jobs at two film and bag plants, while continuing its acquisition spree.
BPI, Europe's largest producer of polyethylene film, blamed the cutbacks on strong competition from Asian retail bag suppliers and higher prices for PE. The company announced it will spend £2 million ($3.22 million) to restructure two extrusion and converting plants in Bury and Heanor, England.
Meanwhile, Greenock, Scotland- based BPI plans to buy the PE film extrusion and sack/pallet wrap converting operations of plastic pipe maker Wavin BV of Zwolle, the Netherlands, for £14 million ($22.5 million).
BPI announced the agreement in principle on March 3, and plans to close the deal by the end of the month, according to Jack Paton, industrial division managing director.
Wavin's film plants have combined annual extruding capacity of about 99.2 million pounds and 1996 sales of £47 million ($75.7 million).
They include a heavy-duty PE sack operation in Hardenberg, Netherlands, that employs 240, and a facility located in Roeselare, Belgium, that makes wide film, pallet wrap, printed sheet and food packaging and employs 100.
Paton said the Wavin deal is in line with the firm's strategy of growth through acquisition. Last year BPI spent £21.5 million ($34.6 million) to take over 11 separate businesses in the United Kingdom. They include woven polypropylene interbulk container maker Agritay Ltd. of Dundee, Scotland, and Bibby and Baron Ltd. — the Bury unit now being restructured.
The Bury plant employs 340, and Heanor employs 250. Together, the plants have 15 extrusion lines and annual capacity of about 66 million pounds.
BPI plans between seven and 11 more takeovers during 1997. Already this year, the company has bought PE extrusion, print and bag convertor Spectrum Packaging Ltd. of Widnes, England, for around £500,000 ($805,000).