Berry Plastics Corp. continues its growth in rigid containers by purchasing the injection molding assets of Alcoa Flexible Packaging, part of Alcoa's Mount Vernon Plastics business.
Berry will move the molding equipment to eight North American plants, said Brent Beeler, executive vice president and general manager of the Container Division for Evansville, Ind.-based Berry. The assets are expected to contribute more than $15 million in annual sales to Berry's Container Division, Beeler said.
The equipment will be moved within 90 days and will be used to mold Berry's core product line of lids and rigid containers.
``It fits like a glove for us,'' Beeler said in a Jan. 25 telephone interview. ``It will only enhance our existing facilities and allow us to grow with new markets and new customers.''
The two Mount Vernon Plastics plants will remain open as part of Richmond, Va.-based Reynolds Foodservice Packaging, another unit of Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc. The plants in Mount Vernon, Ky., and Sparks, Nev., had operated under both the flexible packaging and food-service businesses.
The food-service area concentrates on the institutional market, primarily delicatessen containers. The company's flexible packaging unit primarily makes consumer and industrial shrink-film products and specialty cartons.
The Mount Vernon Plastics facilities will continue to thermoform containers and injection mold lids for the food-services group.
Alcoa Flexible Packaging will lay off 129 people in Mount Vernon and 48 in Sparks, said Paula Quick, a spokeswoman for the Richmond-based business. After the layoffs, those plants will have a total of about 140 employees on the food-service side, she said.
``The injection molded business was no longer a strategic fit for flexible packaging,'' said spokeswoman Paula Quick. ``Exiting that business will allow us to focus on profitable growth opportunities in the packaging market.''
Richmond-based Reynolds Metals Co. bought Mount Vernon Plastics in 1988. Reynolds and Alcoa then merged in May 2000.
Alcoa's packaging and consumer businesses ranked 13th on Plastics News' list of North American film and sheet makers, with an estimated $440 million in relevant sales in 2000.
Berry has 12 plants producing injection molded and thermoformed rigid packaging. The company ranked 14th on Plastics News' 2000 North American ranking of injection molders, with $408 million in sales.