AEP sells Dutch thermoforming plants
SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. — AEP Industries Inc. on June 22 announced the sale of its rigid sheet thermoforming operations, located in Beuningen and Venlo, Netherlands, to RPC Group plc.
RPC paid about $4 million for the plants, which reported 1997 sales of about $16 million. The operations thermoform containers and trays for the food market.
The businesses were not profitable in 1997, according to South Hackensack-based AEP.
RPC, based in Raunds, England, will combine these businesses with its Bebo Group operations in Germany and Poland, which make similar products. RPC has 20 injection, thermoforming and blow molding subsidiaries in seven European countries.
``This is the first step towards achieving our goal of focusing exclusively on our flexible packaging businesses,'' said Brendan Barba, AEP chairman and chief executive officer. ``By disposing of the Rigids Packaging Operations, which were part of the company's acquisition of Borden Global Packaging, we will be able to concentrate our efforts on AEP's more profitable core businesses both within Europe and worldwide.''
AEP bought Borden Inc.'s plastics packaging business in 1996.
Nypro opens $5 million clean room
CLINTON, MASS. — Nypro Inc. has opened a $5 million assembly clean room at its Clinton headquarters.
The investment includes $1.5 million in construction costs and $3.5 million in automation equipment. The 10,000-square-foot addition will be a Class 100,000 clean room, and all the equipment should be installed in a few months, said spokesman Al Cotton.
The facility currently assembles breath-actuated inhalers exported to Great Britain and insulin pens shipped to France, the company said. About 100 people work there now, and that will rise to between 250 and 275 when the addition is at full capacity later this year, Cotton said.
``It is one of the things we are doing to work more heavily in the contract manufacturing area,'' Cotton said.
Biomaterials liability bill advances
WASHINGTON — Legislation exempting suppliers of biomaterials from broad liability for medical device failures passed a congressional committee June 24, and now heads for a vote in the House.
The bill passed the House Commerce Committee in a voice vote, and prompted a strong statement by Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley, R-Va., that he would oppose any effort to broaden the bill or tack on unrelated provisions on the House floor or in the Senate, industry officials said.
An aide to Rep. George Gekas, R-Pa., said it is not clear when the bill would get a floor vote.
If it passes, House and Senate negotiators still must reconcile the House version with a Senate provision included as part of a larger product liability bill, where the biomaterials language is a ``sweetener'' for more controversial provisions, said Gekas spokesman Bruce Allen.
Cloeren breaks campaign finance laws
ORANGE, TEXAS—Peter Cloeren, the chief executive officer of flat-die manufacturer Cloeren Inc., pleaded guilty June 24 to breaking campaign finance laws by using his employees to funnel $37,000 to a Texas congressional candidate.
Cloeren will serve two years' probation, pay a $200,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service for steering money in 1996 to the campaign of Republican Brian Babin, who ultimately lost the race to Rep. Jim Turner, D-Texas.
Cloeren Inc., which makes dies for film, sheet, vinyl siding and other products, also was fined $200,000. Cloeren's office said he and the Orange-based company would not comment.
Federal election laws limit one person from giving more than $2,000 per candidate in each election, but federal prosecutors said Cloeren gave money to his employees, who in turn gave it to the campaign under their names.
Prosecutors do not think Babin knew about the plan and do not plan to bring charges against him, although the investigation is continuing to look at Cloeren employees who participated with Peter Cloeren in convincing other employees to join, according to a spokesman for Michael Bradford, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. The employees who merely acted as conduits are not being prosecuted, the spokesman said.