Consolidated Container Co. LLC plans to acquire Mayfair Plastics of Carson, Calif., expanding its West Coast operations and broadening its line of custom bottles made on continuous-extrusion shuttle machinery.
The sale, for undisclosed terms, is expected to close in a few weeks, said R. Keith Brower, CCC senior vice president of operations, services and procurement.
In February, CCC bought another California firm: Chino-based STC Plastics Inc., a maker of polycarbonate water bottles.
Atlanta-based CCC, one of North America's largest makers of bottles from high density polyethylene, plans to buy more companies, Brower said. The company is targeting midmarket rigid-packaging producers such as Mayfair, but would not rule out buying a larger company, Brower said.
``What we want to be is a consolidator for the industry,'' he said. ``Mayfair is a perfect fit for our strategy: an old-line company that has a first-class operation. We were looking for a shuttle platform on the West Coast, and Mayfair makes a broad array of products that fit our needs.''
Mayfair, founded in 1955 as a milk processor, has been blow molding bottles since late 1966 and became a full-time blow molding company two years later. President and Chief Executive Officer William Melville has been with Mayfair, a family-owned business, since 1962 and took over operations from his father, John, the company's founder.
Melville said in a June 23 telephone interview that he will stay six months to consult with CCC during the transition. Though the company is on track to have its best sales year in its history, he said it is time to him to step back.
``We've been in business for 50 years, and it was just right to make a change,'' Melville said. ``I'm almost 65, and I thought the timing was good and the market was right to sell the business. [CCC] can bring other business in here and do some things differently by bringing in experience from other plants.''
Mayfair has a 67,000-square-foot facility in Carson. The firm now has 17 blow molding machines, mainly from Uniloy and Bekum, a mix of continuous-shuttle and intermittent reciprocating-screw units.
It employs about 110 and had sales of about $16 million last year, up from $14.9 million the year before, Melville said.
The California company produces containers for industrial and agricultural chemicals, motor oil, juice and yogurt drinks, consumer products and toys, Melville said. Mayfair primarily works with HDPE, linear low density PE and polypropylene, according to its Web site. Even though the company started in the dairy business, only a small percentage of its sales come from that area, he added.
CCC may integrate work at Mayfair's facility with other CCC properties in California, said Brower, who added that it is too early to make any determinations. Besides the STC facility, CCC has eight plants in California, according to its 2004 annual report.
Including Mayfair, CCC would have 57 plants, all in North America, Brower said. CCC recorded sales of $761.3 million last year. CCC was formed in 1999 through the merger of the blow molding operations of Suiza Foods Corp. and Reid Plastics Inc., another large blow molder. CCC struggled with high debt for several years, but now is in a period of expansion.
The company obtained a senior credit facility in May 2004 with a $220 million term loan and a revolving credit line of $45 million, helping it move forward with expansion plans.
CCC also completed a deal June 21 to sell its PET blow molding plant in Kansas City, Kan., to Graham Packaging Co. LP. As previously reported, the plant is on-site with a Procter & Gamble Co. production facility.
Brower said York, Pa.-based Graham, a much-larger producer of PET bottles than CCC, is in a better position to manage P&G's business at that plant, Brower said. Graham purchased most of the blow molding assets of Toledo, Ohio-based Owens-Illinois Inc. last year, propelling its growth in PET bottles.
CCC will continue to work with Cincinnati-based P&G, especially in HDPE bottles, at other facilities, Brower said.