A group that recently bought Stone Container Corp.'s Grand Rapids, Mich., flexible packaging operation plans to expand and upgrade it.
Timothy Dennis, president of recently formed Lake Michigan Packaging Products Inc., said he and his partners will run the business for some months before they decide on new equipment details. The plant extrudes monolayer polyethylene film and converts some into bags, which it decorates on two flexographic presses. Dennis estimates that, at full capacity, the operation can make a million pounds or more of film and bags per month.
Dennis did not disclose terms of the Sept. 2 purchase. He would not comment on why Stone Container decided to sell the operation, one of several film and bag plants it runs. Dennis said Stone Container put the Grand Rapids unit up for sale several months ago. Stone Container officials could not be reached by press time.
Lake Michigan Packaging employs about 85, including members of the Teamsters Union Local 406. Dennis predicts it will employ about 100 by the end of the year, as the firm puts more emphasis on food, retail and medical markets. It has focused on industrial and horticultural markets, areas in which it will continue, Dennis said in a telephone interview from Grand Rapids.
Lake Michigan Packaging also will supply film to Harbor Packaging of Benton Harbor, Mich., as a lamination substrate. Joseph Mazzucco, Harbor's president, is a Lake Michigan Packaging investor. Other investors are Dennis, who formerly sold Stone Container film and bags through his own sales agent company; Marc Deising, president of Mar-Co Packaging Inc., a sales agency in Stevensville, Mich.; and Michael Wavra, executive vice president of Lake Michigan Packaging.
Lake Michigan Packaging chose Shoreline Bank of Benton Harbor as its primary lending institution.