Sonoco sells British unit to Illinois Tool
SLOUGH, ENGLAND — Sonoco Products Co. has sold its British subsidiary Sonoco Capseals Ltd., which makes bottle-cap lining materials, to Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Terms were not disclosed. The Slough-based unit no longer is part of Sonoco's main focus, according to Harris E. DeLoach Jr., president and chief executive officer of Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco. His company has been concentrating on expanding its flexible packaging business.
Capseals' cap-lining products include tape or disks made from films, foam and foil. Capseals had 1999 sales of about $19 million, according to Sonoco.
Capseals is being taken over by ITW Ltd., a United Kingdom subsidiary of Glenview, Ill.-based Illinois Tool Works. The U.S. parent serves the automotive, electronics, construction and consumer packaging sectors.
Cash-tapped Hobson sets buyer deadline
SHELL ROCK, IOWA — Hobson Mould Works Inc. has set an internal deadline of Jan. 31 to find a buyer for the cash-troubled company.
The blow-mold producer laid off about 100 of its 140 workers Dec. 20 after difficulties meeting loan payments with its primary creditor, Firstar Bank of Milwaukee. The company is attempting to restructure its debt and sell the company.
Several blow molders, tool manufacturers and private investors have expressed interest in buying the Shell Rock-based mold maker, President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Hobson said in a Jan. 2 telephone interview.
By the end of January, the company hopes to evaluate letters of intent and make a decision on its future, Hobson said. The toolmaker only would seek protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as a last recourse, Hobson said.
"The toolmaking business has gotten very soft," Hobson said.
The company is continuing to operate with a 40-person staff and with others on call, he said. The employee-owned company, started in 1982, was purchased in late 1996 from Essef Corp. of Chardon, Ohio.
Imperial, Greek company ink agreement
TORONTO — Imperial PlasTech Inc. will add a Greek company's plastic pipe and flexible hose to its production after the two firms purchase equity in each other.
Imperial will pay C$5.4 million (US$3.5 million) to acquire A.G. Petzetakis Group's sales and marketing subsidiary in Atlanta, and for equipment and technology to make plastic flexible hose. Imperial will make the hose at its recently expanded Peterborough, Ontario, plant.
A.G. Petzetakis of Athens, Greece, will buy about 9 million Imperial shares for about C$25.5 million (US$17.1 million), according to Toronto-based Imperial. It said the transaction was scheduled to close Jan. 5.
Purchase of the Atlanta office fits Imperial's acquisition of pipe manufacturer Americon Inc. in Atlanta, Imperial President and Chief Executive Officer Victor D'Souza noted in a news release.
Earlier, Imperial said it will expand its Edmonton, Alberta, pipe and tubing extrusion plant by 20 percent to meet strong demand in the oil and gas industry. Edmonton also makes fiber-optic conduit and plumbing products. Imperial also announced it installed wood-fiber/plastic composite profile equipment in Peterborough and will begin prototype production in the first quarter.
Imperial, established in 1989, got a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange last year.
Pliant Corp. moving HQ to Chicago area
SALT LAKE CITY — Pliant Corp., formerly Huntsman Packaging Corp., plans to move its corporate headquarters from Salt Lake City to the Chicago area by the second quarter.
Pliant spokeswoman Margaret MacBeth said the move to Schaumburg, Ill., will bring the company closer to its Midwest customers, which account for the majority of Pliant's business.
The location also will be closer to manufacturing operations in Indiana and Wisconsin.
Pliant will offer positions in the Chicago area or severance packages to the estimated 45 employees still in Salt Lake City.
With 3,600 employees companywide, Pliant Corp. manufactures packaging film for food and other products in 23 facilities in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Germany and Japan. The company reported sales of $850 million.