Acquisition-minded film extruder Ampac Packaging LLC has purchased converter Flexicon Inc. to bolster Ampac's medical and pharmaceutical business.
Cincinnati-based Ampac purchased Flexicon on Jan. 13 for an undisclosed price, adding Flexicon's high-performance laminating and printing expertise to its packaging group, said John Baumann, Ampac chief executive officer and president.
Flexicon, based in Cary, Ill., makes adhesive and solventless laminations for medical packaging and other markets, said Flexicon President Robert Biddle, who will stay with the firm. The converter bought a 10-color, gearless, flexographic printing press a few months ago, which gives Ampac a new capability, Biddle said.
Medical packaging is a growth area for Ampac, Baumann said in a Jan. 14 telephone interview. ``As single-unit dosages continue to become more prevalent, our packaging structures are in applications that fit those customer requirements,'' he said.
Flexicon also specializes in difficult-to-manufacture, high-performance flexible packaging, which also fits Ampac's strategy, Baumann said. Ampac will use Flexicon's converting capabilities with its three- to seven-layer film constructions.
Ampac has been moving aggressively into converting recently. In August, it bought Minneapolis-based Kapak Corp., a maker of specialized stand-up pouches and roll stock that also offers rotogravure printing. Kapak and Flexicon will operate separately but share technology and resources, said George Thomas, Ampac vice president of business development and chief operating officer of Kapak.
``The companies can help each other in markets where we may have had voids and gaps in coverage,'' Thomas said.
Flexicon CEO Greg Baron founded the company 28 years ago, Biddle said. Besides the medical market, the company converts film for the chemical, food and industrial markets.
Baron will retire from Flexicon, a 60-employee firm in a 65,000-square-foot plant in Cary, Biddle said. Other management will remain with the company, which will be renamed Ampac Flexicon LLC. Though it plans to grow in medical packaging, Ampac's core business remains its retail bags and film, Baumann said.
Ampac started a plant in Nanjing, China, in late 2002 that is continuing to expand in equipment and products, Baumann said. That facility added bank cash-transfer and security bags to its offerings in 2004 while continuing to serve the retail market.
The firm expects to record close to $200 million in sales this year, a major upgrade from the $20 million in 1997 sales, Baumann said. Acquisitions will play a part in that growth, he said.