Ivex Packaging Corp. has purchased a small Canadian thermoforming company as part of its strategy to concentrate on consumer packaging.
The Lincolnshire, Ill., company paid US$5 million for Chester Plastics Ltd., an US$8 million-per-year firm in Chester, Nova Scotia.
Chester Plastics thermoforms packaging for confections, baked goods and convenience food at plants in Chester and Calgary, Alberta.
Ivex reported 2000 sales of $711 million, up 5.2 percent sales from the year before. While the company's recession-resistant consumer packaging business was up 12.2 percent, electronics packaging was flat, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George V. Bayly.
"We're now focusing all of our attention on the consumer packaging market," Bayly said. "We have a very strong, dominant position in the continental U.S., but we also have a very specific strategy where we are the No. 1 leader in Canada. The acquisition of Chester is significant to that."
Ivex already operates packaging facilities in Sommerstown, Ontario, and Laval, Quebec, in addition to nine others throughout the United States.
Bayly expects the Chester acquisition to give Ivex a 30-35 percent share of the Canadian market.
Bayly, in a Feb. 2 conference call, said Ivex will focus on packaging innovations with oriented polystyrene, PET, polypropylene, extended shelf-life and modified-atmosphere products.
"We're spending a lot of time on these markets," he said. "We're now focusing on consumer packaging from a processing materials standpoint. We have extensive capabilities on the film side and on the rigid side."