Plastics and packaging machinery supplier Tetra Pak plans to sell its stretch blow molding machinery and PET preform operations and is dropping its proprietary injection molded barrier-layer process Sealica.
This reshaping of its plastics business follows hard on the heels of the bid by its parent, Tetra Laval International SA, to acquire blow molding machinery supplier Groupe Sidel of Le Havre, France.
Lund, Sweden-based Tetra Pak has PET preform injection molding operations in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Saudi Arabia. The company assembles its stretch blow molding equipment at one plant in Viguzzolo, Italy.
The businesses being sold employ 200, according to spokesman Jorgen Haglind. The company acquired the stretch blow molding machinery business from Dynaplast SA of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1994. The following year it moved into PET preform production when it acquired the molder Plastimat.
While relatively small, its preform business has grown steadily to reach an output of almost 2 billion preforms annually. The company said preforms are a commodity business that no longer fits in the firm's strategic plans.
In stretch blow molding, Tetra Pak is a small player, focusing on low-speed, linear machines.
``We believe that both of these businesses are very attractive to buyers with a different business focus than ourselves,'' said Gerard Stricher, president of the firm's plastics business area.
Haglind said Tetra Pak's strategy in the plastics area is to focus on businesses where the company has either a first- or second-place position in the market, or where the business adds value for other customers.
With the acquisition of Sidel, which has its own Actis PET bottle barrier coating technology for beer, Tetra Pak would have three separate PET container barrier processes. Apart from Sealica for preforms, Tetra is developing Glaskin, a gas barrier in which a clear layer of silicon oxide is coated on the inside of bottles. The barrier technologies are aimed at the beer market, as well as other carbonated beverages and fruit juices.
Tetra Pak intends to focus on the Glaskin technology, and Haglind said he was reluctant to speculate on the future of Actis until the Sidel deal is complete.
Tetra Laval is based in Pully, Switzerland.