Alusuisse-Lonza's newly established pharmaceutical and cosmetics unit, Lawson Mardon Wheaton, acquired ACI Rockware Ltd. on July 31, boosting the division's presence in Europe.
Terms were not released.
ACI specializes in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries and had sales of £17 million ($26.5 million) last year. It has two sites in England, a 50,000-square-foot plant in Kingston upon Thames and a 150,000-square-foot plant in Norwich, that injection blow mold, extrusion blow mold and injection mold plastic products and together employ 280.
ACI will be integrated into Alusuisse-Lonza's Rigid Plastics Business in the United Kingdom and form part of Lawson Mardon Wheaton, the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Packaging Division of Alusuisse-Lonza.
``We occupy a major position in the North American injection blow molding and extrusion blow molding market and we welcome the opportunity to further strengthen the LMW foothold in the European [pharmaceutical] market,'' said Hans Noetzli, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Packaging's president-designate.
Alusuisse-Lonza spokesman Frank Wuertz said the firm is evaluating the possible sale of one of ACI's plants.
Alusuisse-Lonza recently reorganized into six market segments, up from three. These include fine chemicals and specialties, chemical intermediates and additives, food and tobacco packaging, pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging, upstream aluminum businesses and downstream activities.
Lawson Mardon Wheaton, based in Millville, N.J., claims to be a world leader in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging market with sales of $970.8 million. LMW's North American blow molding sales were $200 million last year, placing it at No. 11 in Plastics News' 1996 blow molders ranking. LMW's six plants operate 135 machines and employ 1,300.
ACI of Kingston upon Thames is a unit of Rockware Group Ltd. and BTR Industries Ltd. In 1996, ACI acquired Labplas Ltd., a Chalgrove, England, single-stage injection stretch blow molder for $3.6 million, and Labplas became ACI Rockware Plastics.
Alusuisse-Lonza of Zurich, Switzerland, acquired Lawson Mardon in 1994 and Wheaton Industries in 1996.