Minority owners given control of Coperion
LONDON - Georg Fischer AG is giving up operational control of 2-year-old Coperion Holding GmbH - which makes Werner & Pfleiderer compounding extruders, Buss kneaders and Waeschle materials-handling systems - and handing the reins to the former minority partner.
Georg Fischer wants to focus on its core businesses of automotive products, piping systems and manufacturing technology. So Georg Fischer of Schaffhausen, Switzerland, announced it now owns less of the company. The new majority owner is London-based West Private Equity Ltd. and Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale of Dusseldorf, Germany. The two equity firms had owned 49.9 percent in late 2000, when Georg Fischer bought Krupp Werner & Pfleiderer GmbH. Fischer created Coperion by putting W&P together with Buss and Waeschle, two firms it had already owned.
Coperion is the world's largest manufacturer of compounding and mixing machines.
Georg Fischer announced the move Nov. 26. The Swiss company said it ``will retain a minority holding in Coperion but will no longer be involved in its operational management.'' The news release did not give ownership percentages of Fischer and the equity firms, and company officials were not available for comment.
This summer Coperion executives announced they were exploring how to restructure Coperion's machinery holdings.
Georg Fischer said Coperion lost money through the first nine months of 2002, while its other three groups are reporting an operating profit.
Pechiney puchases Avenir Print Service
PARIS - Pechiney Soplaril Flexible Europe, a unit of Pechiney SA, has acquired Avenir Print Service of Montreuil-Bellay, France, which makes film for cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets.
APS' recently opened plant in Montreuil-Bellay is geared toward short runs for product samples. The firm employs 80 and has annual sales of 15 million euros ($14.9 million), according to Paris-based Pechiney SA.
``Although flexible packaging is traditionally associated with food, we also know that its qualities can lead to significant growth in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors. This operation enables us to extend our offering substantially in these areas. It establishes us firmly on the short-run market, which requires great flexibility,'' said Jean-Pierre Pignet, Pechiney Soplaril managing director.
Pechiney Soplaril is the fifth-largest European producer of flexible packaging, with annual sales of about 400 million euros ($396 million). The unit has 13 plants in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
The subsidiary formed in August 2001 when Pechiney bought Soplaril SA of Suresnes, France, a specialist in multilayer blown film and stand-up pouches, from Atofina SA.
Superfos Packaging closing two plants
VEDBAEK, DENMARK - Danish rigid container producer Superfos Packaging is shutting down two of its seven European plants, cutting 200 jobs.
Superfos blamed the cuts on overcapacity in ``a stagnating market'' for its consumer division. Injection molding plants in Haarby, Denmark, and Hamburg, Germany, will close.
The company will shift work to plants in BesanÃ§on, France; Randers, Denmark; Wetteren, Belgium; Tenhult, Sweden; and Tamworth, England. The plants mold containers up to 3.15 pints for food, paint, building products and other nonfood sectors.
Superfos Chief Executive Officer Kim Andersen said the cuts are regrettable, but ``a necessary step'' to benefit its remaining work force of 2,000 and its customers.
Vedbaek-based Superfos started restructuring in the spring after it acquired Jotipac Group, an injection molder with plants in Randers, Tenhult and Wetteren.
Superfos, which runs 15 packaging plants in Europe and one U.S. facility in Cumberland, Va., has annual sales of 335 million euros ($335 million).
Greif Bros. will drop Van Leer from name
DELAWARE, OHIO - The Greif name will stay, the Van Leer name will go away.
Plastic drum and industrial packaging company Greif Bros. Corp. has decided to pursue a single identity worldwide, Maureen Conley, senior vice president of new business development, said Nov. 4.
The company will drop the name Greif Van Leer, Conley said.
Greif of Delaware bought Van Leer Industrial Packaging in 2002 and started using the combined names to introduce Van Leer customers to Grief, Conley said. But with 185 locations in 40 countries, Greif decided a single name will help avoid confusion, Conley said. ``Greif has been in international markets for a while now, and customers know us as Greif,'' Conley said.