Crown seeking buyer for plastics units
PHILADELPHIA - Crown Holdings Inc. is shopping its global plastics business to focus strictly on metal packaging, according to mergers and acquisitions sources.
Crown's plastics operations comprise closures maker Crown Zeller Inc., Swiss container maker Crown Obrist AG, health and cosmetics packaging and drink cups. The plastics business recorded sales of $907 million last year.
The Philadelphia company has retained New York-based Citibank to search for possible buyers, said one source who has seen a sales presentation the company has prepared.
The business includes 11 plants in North America and about 45 plants worldwide. The company has plastics operations in Europe and Asia, including closures facilities in Shanghai and Jiangmen City, China.
The plastics business could fetch $800 million to $900 million, said Louis Mitchell, managing director of Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Inc. However, Mitchell said he had no knowledge of a potential sale.
The company has not received bids yet, said several other sources. Crown recorded sales of almost $7.2 billion last year, largely from metal packaging.
CPI Plastics closing Ontario film plant
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO - CPI Plastics Group Ltd. will close one of its two film plants to improve efficiency.
The Mississauga extruder said it will shut its Pefferlaw, Ontario, plant by the end of July for annual cost savings of C$1 million to C$1.5 million (US$801,000 to US$1.2 million). CPI will record a one-time pretax charge of C$875,000 (US$701,000) in the second quarter.
Chief Executive Officer Peter Clark said in a news release the film plants are running at about 50 percent of machine capacity and at only 25 percent of plant footprint capacity. He blamed high levels of competition domestically and from offshore.
The Pefferlaw plant employs fewer than 50, down from 130 about 18 months ago as the plant increasingly has relied on small-bag imports from China. All film production will be consolidated at its Pleasant Prairie, Wis., plant, a 100,000-square-foot facility that opened in September 2003.
CPI's film products group reported an 11 percent increase in sales to C$10.8 million (US$8.7 million) for the first quarter. The group reported a profit before interest and taxes of C$171,000 (US$137,000) on assets of C$45.8 million (US$36.7 million).
Earlier this year, CPI closed one of its custom profile extrusion plants in Mississauga.
Decking maker Elk exanding in Kansas
LENEXA, KAN. - Elk Composite Building Products Inc., a subsidiary of Dallas-based Elk Corp., is spending $40 million to expand production at its 195,000-square-foot facility in Lenexa.
``They haven't gotten to full production, but they're on target for summer 2005,'' said Eric Danielson, director of economic development in Lenexa.
Elk leased the facility in late 2004, Danielson said in a June 2 telephone interview.
Davis-Standard Corp. of Pawcatuck, R.I., said in a news release that Elk Composite Building Products recently installed five profile extruders and three sheet lines at the site, where Elk will manufacture its line of CrossTimbers decking, fencing and railing products. Elk has two plants in Lenexa.
According to the Kansas Department of Commerce, the company will create 85 new jobs. The department will invest $31,875 in Kansas Industrial Training program funds to help train the new employees, with the company providing matching funds of $143,250.
PN starts China electronic newsletter
AKRON, OHIO - On June 2, plastics industry executives in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia received the first broadcast of Plastics News China eWeekly, which links back to full-text stories on the Web site at www.plasticsnews.com/china.
The electronic newsletter is broadcast in simplified Chinese, with a link that allows readers to switch easily to an English-language version. The Web site can be viewed in either language.