Cello-Foil Products Inc., a maker of high-end film packaging, has been sold by the family that has owned it for more than 55 years to a private equity group that plans to expand the business.
The company, started in 1949 by members of the Lesiow family, was sold July 14 to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. The sale, for an undisclosed price, will help Cello-Foil meet its expansion goals and build its presence in flexible packaging, Cello-Foil President and Chief Operating Officer Rieger Lesiow said July 19.
Sun Capital is committed to helping Cello-Foil grow, he said. ``We're excited to have another set of eyes looking at our operations.''
Sun's portfolio contains companies with combined sales of more than $20 billion and includes prominent names in retailing. Properties owned by affiliates of the equity firm include bagel seller Bruegger's Enterprises Inc., Sam Goody music stores, Mervyns LLC department stores and Wickes Furniture Co. Inc. The company's main tie to the plastics industry is its affiliated ownership of Performance Fibers Inc., a producer of high-tenacity polyester fiber in Colonial Heights, Va.
Cello-Foil's products are used to package cereals, snack foods and baked goods, and for personal items, pharmaceuticals and tissues.
The company, based in Battle Creek, Mich., manufactures printed and laminated film overwrap, multilayer laminations and roll stock for stand-up pouches and bag-in-box uses.
The Lesiow family moved from its native Wisconsin to western Michigan in 1949 to start the company and be close to the cereal industry, Lesiow said. More than 20 cereal makers were in Battle Creek in the late 1940s, he said. One of the company's largest film customers still is Battle Creek-based Kellogg Co., said Lesiow, whose grandparents started Cello-Foil.
He said family members decided earlier this year to sell the company. Chicago-based Mesirow Financial Inc. helped find a buyer.
``We wanted the company to continue to grow so that we could perpetuate the family legacy and keep it a viable business entity,'' Lesiow said.
Management will remain intact, Lesiow said. The film producer will look for expansion opportunities, including increasing the size of its production facilities in Battle Creek and Albany, Ga., and possibly acquiring another company that adds product breadth, he said.
The company employs about 265 and expects to record sales of $70 million this year, Lesiow said.