Consolidated Container Co. LLC has acquired a West Coast maker of polycarbonate water bottles.
The Atlanta-based rigid packaging company purchased STC Plastics Inc., a custom blow molder in Chino, Calif., that is a key player in bottled water on the West Coast, said Bob Walton, senior vice president of CCC's beverage and industrial container group. The deal, for undisclosed terms, was completed Feb. 15.
Even before the acquisition, CCC officials had targeted water bottles as a growth driver in North America, Walton said. The use of fillable water containers is more common in Europe and Mexico, but has been climbing in popularity in the United States, Walton said.
``It's very prevalent in the West, is starting to sprout up in the South and is even growing on the East Coast,'' Walton said in a Feb. 17 telephone interview. ``In the West, there are literally thousands of water stores.''
STC was run by brothers Scott and Larry Keller, who will stay with CCC, Walton said. The company was founded in 1985 by the Kellers' father, James, as Bison Industries and changed its name in 1992 when the pair took over the company. The firm has 105 employees and recorded sales of about $14 million in 2004, Walton said.
Scott Keller will join CCC as vice president of PC water sales and will report to Walton's group. The 105,000-square-foot Chino plant will operate under the CCC name.
STC sells primarily to water stores and distributors, and produces bottles ranging from one-half to 6 gallons. The company also sells sports bottles and screw-top containers that can be refilled at retail stores.
CCC has not offered screw-top containers or some of the smaller sizes, Walton said. The acquisition also gives CCC a larger customer list, especially on the West Coast and with smaller and mid-tier customers, he added.
Walton said CCC would like to distribute STC's products to the East Coast and elsewhere.
``We're just in the honeymoon stage of the acquisition now,'' he said. ``I see a lot of synergies ahead of us.''
Formed in 1999 from the merger of the blow molding assets of Suiza Foods Corp. and Reid Plastics Inc., CCC has 56 manufacturing facilities worldwide. CCC ranked fifth on Plastics News' listing of top North American blow molders, with $800 million in 2003 sales.