British bottle and tube maker M&H Plastics Ltd. has chosen Winchester, Va., for its new U.S. site. The 64,000-square-foot plant is to open later this year.
Growing demand in the North American market, coupled with a need to offer existing European customers a U.S. manufacturing base, prompted the move by the Beccles, England-based company.
M&H has a three-year, $12 million investment plan. The plant will start with six Magic-brand extrusion blow molding machines and four printing lines, and eventually will employ 57.
Managing Director John Anderton said the company will mold half-liter bottles for shampoo, bath, hair and other personal-care products. Customers include Estee Lauder, Crabtree & Evelyn, Body Shop, Elizabeth Arden and Wella.
Originally, M&H considered alternative North American sites in Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland and Canada.
``We chose Winchester because of its geographical location, because of incentives from the county and Virginia state and because our potential U.S. customer base is situated from Chicago eastward,'' Anderton said.
M&H named Dan Kliska its North American chief executive officer. He will head an initial staff of about 20.
The firm was acquired in March for an undisclosed sum by its management, backed by JPMorgan Partners, the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
M&H's 450,000-square-foot plant in Beccles molds 300 million bottles, 200 million closures and about 25 million tubes annually. The firm runs 50 extrusion blow molding machines, 15 injection stretch blow molding machines and 54 injection presses. It designs and builds its own molds, said marketing manager Shaun Catchpole.
In addition, through a 4-year-old marketing deal with Delta Plastics Inc. of Hot Springs, Ark., M&H is marketing a range of Delta's single- and double-walled polypropylene and polystyrene jars and closures in Europe.