Low & Bonar sells stake in film venture
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND — Low & Bonar plc has sold its 50.01 percent interest in its Bonar Constantia Ltd. joint venture to its Austrian partner, Constantia Verpackungen AG, for £4 million ($6.44 million).
The venture, through its wholly owned subsidiary Bonar Teich Flexibles Ltd., makes film and paper packaging at two sites at Derby, England, and Dundee. The company supplies flexible packaging chiefly to the food industry in the United Kingdom and abroad, according to Low & Bonar.
Dundee-based Low & Bonar said the joint business has been badly hit this year by increasing market competition, exacerbated by the continuing strength of the British pound.
In the fiscal year ended Nov. 30 Bonar Constantia made pretax profit of around $4.18 million on sales of $45 million.
``The increasingly competitive nature of the flexible packaging business, which we believe will continue into the future, necessitates total commitment to this market,'' said Jim Heilig, Low & Bonar chief executive officer.
He said Low & Bonar will use the proceeds of the sale to expand core businesses.
Bonar Teich Flexibles produces a range of packaging for medical, pharmaceutical and industrial applications, but food packaging represents around 80 percent of its sales, according to Tom Findlay, the firm's managing director.
The firm, which employs 260, does extrusion coating and laminating and printing.
The Bonar/Constantia joint venture dates back to 1990 when the Vienna-based company took its first major step into the United Kingdom.
Method Associates expands its facility
KEYPORT, N.J. — Medical thermoformer Method Associates Inc. plans to spend at least $300,000 in the next year to add a white room and several new machines, including two thermoformers and a computer numerically controlled router.
The Keyport-based firm has been focused on medical markets, but plans to start making heavy-gauge products such as buoys and boat parts, said Steve Will, general manager.
The two additional thermoformers will give the company nine.
The firm occupies 25,000 square feet and hopes to expand into another 11,000 square feet in its current building next year, he said.
The firm's sales have risen from $1.2 million last year and are expected to top $2 million in 1997, he said.
Method is owned by Will's family. He started working for the firm last year after working as production manager for Solar Plastics Inc. in Tampa, Fla., and Kurd Enterprises Inc. in Charleston, S.C., from 1992-1996.
Great American adds film extrusion lines
VERNON, CALIF.—Great American Packaging Inc. is adding two 31/2-inch monolayer blown film extrusion lines after a recent relocation within Vernon to a larger facility.
``We will add eight to 10 employees once the equipment is in,'' President Greg Gurewitz said in a telephone interview. Great American currently employs 50.
The firm extrudes, prints and converts low density and linear low density polyethylene into bags and film products. The company can do fast changeovers and economically make small orders as needed, Gurewitz said.
The new Brampton equipment, costing more than $750,000, will increase Great American's number of extruders to four, running alongside two printers and five converting machines.
Between July and September, Great American moved operations about 12 blocks to a 40,000-square-foot plant.
The plant cost about $1.2 million, including improvments to the facility.
As a student, Gurewitz began selling bag processing jobs in 1966. He started converting material for regular bags in 1972 and extruding in 1980 at the former leased Vernon location, which occupied 18,500 square feet.
Tank maker Denali plans stock offering
HOUSTON — Denali Inc. of Houston has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of common stock.
Through its subsidiaries — Fluid Containment Inc., Hoover Containment Inc. and Ershigs Inc. — Denali makes fiberglass-reinforced plastic underground storage tanks and corrosion-resistant products.
According to government filings, Denali agreed in September to acquire all the issued and outstanding stock of LaValley Construction Inc. of Biloxi, Miss., for $3.9 million in cash and direct acquisition costs of $100,000. The acquisition is scheduled for completion at the end of October. LaValley makes engineered FRP products.
Also in September, Denali agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding stock of Sefco Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., for $4.7 million.
Sefco makes above-ground steel storage tanks. The deal should be completed by the end of October. Denali also makes steel tanks.
Denali acquired Ershigs in February for $6.1 million. Both Ershigs and LaValley make FRP products for the pulp and paper industries.
Denali reported pro forma 1997 sales of $104.9 million, with about $30.1 million in plastics sales.