Continuing its recent buying spate, packaging company Silgan Holdings Inc. has acquired a maker of coextruded plastic tubes that had undergone several recent management changes.
The acquired company, Thatcher Tubes LLC of Woodstock, Ill., was spun off to management in a 1998 buyout from London-based Courtaulds plc. Thatcher specializes in containers for personal-care items including lotions, creams and ointments.
Stamford, Conn.-based Silgan paid $32 million for the company's assets, including some new equipment and plants in Woodstock and Culiac n, Mexico.
Silgan, a producer of blow molded plastic containers for the personal-care market, views the acquisition as a natural extension of its product line in an important market, said Anthony Allott, chief financial officer.
The sale was announced Jan. 22 but became effective Jan. 1, Allott said. Before the acquisition, Silgan had not manufactured plastic tubes.
``Many of [Thatcher's] customers for tubes are the same customers we have for our plastic containers,'' Allott said. ``And some of their products can be used with our containers. That was the main attraction for us.''
Silgan is solidifying its product base. In a recent deal, Silgan agreed to buy out joint venture partner Amcor Ltd.'s share of White Cap LLC, a maker of plastic and metal closures.
Thatcher recorded sales of about $29 million in 2002, Allott said. The company had survived several ownership changes in the late 1990s, while at the same time expanding facilities and closing another plant.
The company had been part of Courtauld's plastic tubes unit, before Courtaulds was purchased in 1998 by processor Akzo Nobel NV of Arnhem, the Netherlands. Akzo promptly decided to sell off Courtaulds' packaging operations, including its laminated tube facilities.
Thatcher had closed a plant in Muscatine, Iowa, while launching a 100,000-square-foot replacement plant in Woodstock in 1995. That facility increased in size by early 2002 to 130,000 square feet. The ongoing project has added more warehouse and manufacturing space.
The two Thatcher facilities perform multilayer extrusion, tooling and screen printing for personal-care and pharmaceutical packaging, according to Thatcher's Web site. By 2001, the company had more than 250 employees, according to a Plastic News report. Thatcher officials referred all questions to Silgan.
Silgan plans to keep the Thatcher name and start a separate tubing sector as part of its plastics business, Allott said.
Silgan, also a producer of metal containers, recorded more than $1.9 billion in sales in 2001.