Global packaging distributor Bunzl plc intends to spin off Filtrona, its plastics and fibers arm, as a separate, publicly held company.
Filtrona consists of five major international niche businesses: Filtrona cigarette filters; Moss and Alliance plastic cap and plug operations serving engineering applications; Bunzl's profile extrusion units in the Netherlands, the United States and Mexico; the European P.P. Payne tear tape and Morane plastics businesses; and Bunzl's bonded-fiber operations.
The main North American plastic operation in the plan is Bunzl Extrusion Inc., which is based in Colonial Heights, Va. The company, which extrudes profiles, tubing and sheet, has nine plants in North America, including one in Monterrey, Mexico, and estimated sales of $146 million.
Its end markets include lighting, automotive, aerospace, recreational, point-of-purchase signs and displays, refrigeration, home and office products, fence slats, custom profiles and shapes, construction, medical and traffic control.
Also included is a smaller cosmetic plastic tube extrusion and container blow molding business, Globalpack Indústria y Comercio Ltd. in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Overall, Filtrona operates 38 plants in 14 countries. The business reported 2004 profit of £60 million ($114 million) and sales of £478 million ($913 million).
London-based Bunzl has named a separate board to run Filtrona. It includes Chief Executive Officer Mark Harper, who has managed Filtrona since 1996, Chairman Jeff Harris and Steve Dryden, finance director.
Referring to the spin-off plan, Bunzl said it has two distinctive businesses, both of them profitable and internationally competitive, but with ``little or no commercial overlap between them.''