Berry Plastics Corp. acquired its third company this year, buying a majority of the assets of Suffolk, Va.-based Virginia Design Packaging Corp.
Virginia Design makes injection molded thin-wall containers, used primarily in the food packaging industry. It reported annual sales of about $15 million.
The acquisition was made by Berry Plastics Design Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Evansville, Ind.-based molder.
Martin R. Imbler, Berry's president and chief executive officer, would not comment on terms of the deal, or its long-term impact on Virginia Design employees. However, he said the plant will remain open with existing staff for the near future.
Berry had closed a plant in Winchester, Va., last year to consolidate its East Coast operations. That 35,000-square-foot plant employed 80 and contributed about $10 million in annual sales.
``We will obviously integrate all of our operations and see how it sorts out,'' Imbler said. ``But right now, our plans are to keep the [Suffolk] plant open. We are continuing down the track consistent with our strategy of growing our business. The industry is certainly consolidating, giving us the opportunity to make these acquisitions, which are good for our customers and supplements internal growth.''
There is some overlap between the two companies' product lines, Berry said, but Virginia Design also offers an opportunity to expand into some untapped markets.
``We have tremendous internal growth because we invest heavily in new molds, machines and plant expansion,'' Imbler said. ``Much of our growth comes from new products, not strictly acquisitions.''
The acquisition follows the January purchases of PackerWare Corp. of Lawrence, Kan., and the assets of Container Industries Inc. of Pacoima, Calif. The additions give Berry Plastics pro forma 1996 sales of more than $200 million.
According to the most recently available information from Virginia Design, the company added 42,000 square feet to its 60,000-square-foot Suffolk plant in April 1995. The expansion allowed the company to add warehouse space, relocate its printing operations, and add four to six injection molding presses. At the time, the company had 12 presses and about 160 employees, plus eight printing machines, including an eight-color, sidewall printer.
Larry Goldstein, head of Virginia Design's marketing and sales efforts, will assume the position of northeastern regional sales manager for Berry Plastics' container business.
Berry Plastics ranked 24th in Plastics News' recent survey of North American injection molders, with sales of $151.1 million. The company has subsidiaries and plants in Evansville; Henderson, Nev.; Iowa Falls, Iowa; Charlotte, N.C.; York, Pa.; Lawrence, Kan.; and Suffolk, Va.