Two investors are negotiating to acquire the video packaging business of Shape Global Technology Inc., now operating in Sanford, Maine. A deal could be completed by the end of May, said lawyer Jacob Manheimer of Portland, Maine.
Operating unit Shape Inc. filed June 9 for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
"Once the sale is concluded, the case will be over," Manheimer, who represents Shape, said in a telephone interview.
A few months ago, U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland approved the sale of some Shape assets.
Cartonneries de Thulin SA of Thulin, Belgium, known under the trade name Carthuplas, acquired Shape's Kennebunk, Maine, facility and optical-media packaging business for $2.3 million plus related inventory and raw materials, Manheimer said. That transaction closed Dec. 22.
Peter W. Ciriello was named chief executive officer of Carthuplas Inc. in Kennebunk. He had been Shape's president and chief executive officer.
The Kennebunk plant employs 50 and operates 20 injection molding machines, mostly Netstals. The operation may use new Carthuplas technology to make Brilliant Box and 21/2-millimeter-thick Clip Tray packaging for compact discs.
Ciriello said the company is making jewel boxes, multicases and replacement cases for the U.S. market. Family-owned Carthuplas was founded in 1952, ventured into plastics processing in 1972 and now runs more than 50 presses in Thulin, principally supplying the European market. A second Carthuplas facility opened in 1995 in Muri, Switzerland.
Carthuplas understands the packaging business and will "give us global presence," said Ciriello. "We may double or triple capacity in 2002."
After the sale, Shape began relocating its remaining operations to the Sanford site, which was being used for storage.
Shape now employs 80 and, once fully operational, will use 15 presses of 28-500 tons, said Craig Lovecky, vice president of new product development.
Shape is exploring business beyond media packaging, Lovecky said. In addition to molding products, Shape imports cassettes from China. At its Sanford facility, Shape performs decorating, graphics and overwrapping. The operation "allows U.S. companies to bring in bulk products from off-shore" economically and have Shape complete the final domestic processing, Lovecky said.
Shape was founded in 1972, survived a 1988 bankruptcy and, in recent years, closed four plants in the face of financial pressures. Through the years, Shape has made eight-track cassettes, micro floppy disks, audiocassettes, videocassettes and various CD packaging products.