A sprawling, multinational packaging company with its headquarters near Miami has purchased plastic container producer Envases Cuautitlan SA from glassmaking powerhouse Vitro SA de CV.
Phoenix Capital Ltd. Group of Hallandale Beach, Fla., paid $18 million to buy Envases Cuautitlan on Sept. 10. While Phoenix has base operations in Florida, it manufactures plastic film and containers in Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
The Envases facility is in Cuautitlan, Mexico, just outside Mexico City, said Vitro spokesman Albert Chico. Phoenix already has a container operation in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
The Envases operation, with about 300 employees, thermoforms containers for food packaging, including yogurt and margarine.
The company recorded sales of US$17.7 million last year and primarily serves the Mexican market, Chico said.
Vitro, a huge glass packaging producer with sales last year of US$2.4 billion, decided to spin off noncore assets in 1997, Chico said.
But finding the right buyer for the niche-market Envases plant took some time, he said
Vitro, based in Nuevo LeÃ³n, Mexico, has sold its other plastics businesses, parting with more than 20 businesses during the past 15 years. Last year, Vitro sold an injection molding operation to Whirlpool Corp. and its 51 percent share of another molding joint venture to Whirlpool. The company no longer makes plastic parts, Chico said.
``We did not sell [Envases] because it was not a good business, but we decided to focus on core businesses,'' Chico said. ``[Plastics] was not what we wanted to do at the end of the road. But we were waiting for the right buyer at a fair price.''
Phoenix's San Luis Potosí plant, which opened two years ago, thermoforms and injection molds food containers for multinational companies, Chico said. The plant is operated under Phoenix's Sunpack SA de CV unit.
Phoenix officials did not return several telephone calls.