MEXICO CITY — London-based Rexam plc has acquired one of Mexico's leading cap and closure molders, Pl sticos Dumex SA de CV, for £5 million ($8.2 million). The deal closed June 10.
Dumex will join Rexam's Healthcare Packaging Sector, providing it with Mexican manufacturing facilities for caps and closures and access to Dumex's existing client network. Dumex expects to increase production capacity and international market share.
Dumex claims an 85 percent share of the market in Mexico, said marketing director Guillermo Steta. Products include nonresealable, tamper-evident closures for tequila bottles, he said.
The firm has grown steadily since 1990, he added.
``To continue to grow internationally, resources were needed that were difficult for a family-owned operation such as ours to obtain,'' he said in a June 15 telephone interview.
Dumex already exports to Central American countries including Belize and Panama, and to more than 12 countries in Europe. Currently, 28 percent of production is exported, and with the new investment, ``we hope to increase capacity to Europe first,'' he said.
Dumex, which had sales of £6 million ($9.84 million) in 1997, was founded in 1975. It has 320 employees and one plant in Mexico City. The firm also owns Plasti-tap SA de CV, which makes plastic containers and bottles. Steta did not supply further information on Plasti-tap.
Rexam handled the deal through its Evansville, Ind., U.S. closures division headquarters, Steta said. Negotiations started in February, but were not related to Mexico placing a new tax on alcoholic beverages this year, he said. The tax has resulted in bottle and packaging production dropping more than 20 percent in the first quarter, and production of plastic closures dropping 12 percent, according to a Mexican packaging association.
But Steta said that ``our company has not had sales affected and orders keep coming in.''
``Dumex's production of nonresealable closures is very exciting for us, and we will certainly be carrying on with it,'' Ream spokesman Roddy Child Villiers said in a June 17 telephone interview from his London office.
The closures ensure that more-expensive bottled spirits, such as a high-quality tequila, cannot be replaced with a cheaper imitation.
Rexam estimates that the closure sector as a whole is growing about 10 percent per year. Its current customers in Mexico are international companies in the pharmaceutical and health-care businesses, some with local operations in Mexico, according to Child.
``This is an exciting opportunity for our health-care sector, expanding its geographical and product coverage, and offering access to the high-growth potential of the Mexican market,'' Rolf Borjessen, Rexam chief executive officer, said in a June 12 news release.
The only other Rexam manufacturing operation in Mexico is in industrial packaging, Rexam Mulox SA de CV. The plant makes polypropylene bags and is based in Matehuala.
Rexam invested a total of $10 million earlier this year in Brazil to buy 50 percent shares of two companies, one for sterilizable medical packaging, and a film metalizer.
A third company began production in March of polyethylene spout closures for milk and juice cartons.