A newcomer to plastics machinery — a $1.3 billion Swiss firm called SIG Group — is the new owner of German blow molding press maker Krupp Kunststofftechnik GmbH. The purchase of Krupp Kunststofftechnik, based in Essen, Germany, marks SIG's entrance into machinery to blow mold plastic containers. SIG's Pack division specializes in packaging technology, but the emphasis has been on machines for processing foods, such as chocolate and baked goods. Another unit, SIG Combibloc, makes aseptic beverage cartons.
SIG announced May 2 it will pay Thyssen Krupp AG $178 million for its three Krupp blow molding machinery businesses, plus a fourth unit that supplies machines for making food and beverage cans. The four businesses employ 1,700.
The Krupp plastics-related business are: PET blow molding press maker Krupp Corpoplast Maschinenbau GmbH of Hamburg; Krupp Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH of Bonn, which makes extrusion blow molders; and Fischer-W. Muller Blasformtechnik GmbH in Troisdorf, which makes machines for blow molding polyethylene bottles and technical parts.
Last year, all four Krupp businesses generated sales of about $220 million.
Selling the blow molding machinery businesses was part of a strategy by Thyssen Krupp of Dusseldorf, Germany, to shed a noncore business and focus on its main operations that make steel.
Late last year Thyssen Krupp announced it wanted to sell off Krupp blow molding machinery and its unit that makes compounding extruders, Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH, of Stuttgart, Germany.
The SIG deal does not involve Krupp W&P, which remains with Thyssen Krupp for now.
SIG said the current managing director of Krupp Kunststofftechnik, Werner Fillmann, will continue to lead the business, which will be run as a new division.
SIG Group reported 1999 sales of $1.3 billion. The company, based in Neuhausen Rhine Falls, Switzerland, employed 7,185 before the Krupp acquisition. In addition to the beverage-carton and packaging-machinery businesses, SIG owns SIG Positec, which makes robotic loading systems, and a rifle manufacturer, SIG Arms.
Its publicly traded parent company, SIG Swiss Industrial Co. Holding Ltd., was founded in 1853 as a builder of train cars. The company added firearms in 1860 and diversified into packaging machinery in 1906. SIG sold off its rail vehicle unit a few years ago.
SIG officials were not immediately available for comment.
Two years ago, Krupp Kunststofftechnik opened its first full-scale U.S. factory, in North Branch, N.J. Officials there were not available for comment about the sale.
Despite its previous announcement to get out of plastics machinery, Thyssen Krupp in April of this year made a bid to buy the Atecs businesses, including Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG, but lost out to Siemens AG and Robert Bosch GmbH.