Nampak Ltd., the South African packaging company that acquired blow molder Plysu plc in 1999, is closing a bottle plant in Britain.
The former BlowMocan facility in Milton Keynes, England, had been a major supplier of bottles to the dairy industry. The company has been hit by the growing use of through-the-wall bottle operations at dairies in the United Kingdom.
About 25 of the plant's 90 workers will shift to the Nampak Liquid Foods division plant in nearby Newport Pagnell, where the parent firm will concentrate its dairy and fruit-juice bottle molding. The Milton Keynes plant is scheduled to close in September.
``Newport Pagnell is the better site for the long-term future for our Liquid Foods business as the layout and location of the factory will allow us to maximize production and distribution efficiencies,'' division Managing Director Robin Moore said in a news release.
Meantime, Nampak is picking up business at on-site bottle facilities. These include 80 jobs at an 8 million ($11 million) through-the-wall operation with six machines at Arla Foods' Oakthorpe dairy in London.
Nampak is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In other news, the company's Nampak plc subsidiary, which is based in Milton Keynes, has disposed of most of the former Plysu Brands division, a molder of housewares and garden products.
In May, Nampak plc sold the molds and business of Ward Garden Products and Plysu Home & Garden based at Kempston, England, to home storage and infant goods company Strata Products Ltd. of London. Terms were not disclosed.
Ward does injection, blow and rotational molding, making products including watering cans, composters and decorative plant containers.
Meanwhile, another Brands molding facility, Lucy Housewares Ltd. of Portsmouth, England, was recently sold to SYR Clean Ltd. of Stourbridge, England. In June, SYR closed the Lucy plant, which made brooms, brushes, bowls and buckets.
SYR makes mops and other plastics-based cleaning products.
Explaining the Brands division disposals, Nampak said it aims to concentrate its activities on its core packaging business.
Nampak's Brands business still has one last operation: the Plysu Recycling business in Kempston. That plant reprocesses Nampak scrap and post-consumer plastics and makes injection molded curbside recycling bins on two 880-ton Sandretto presses.
Nampak has no plans to sell the recycling business, according to Brands Managing Director Tom Sully.