Pliant seeks debt-for-equity approval
SCHAUMBURG, ILL. - Film producer Pliant Corp. of Schaumburg will avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing if its agreement wins approval for a debt-for-equity conversion with its ad hoc committee of note holders, the company announced Dec. 6.
If it goes forward, Pliant will convert debt into stock, reducing debt by $578 million. The deal still is subject to approval of 97 percent of those who hold the 13 percent senior subordinated notes.
The structure would eliminate $41.6 million of annual cash interest payments, according to a news release.
``We have been hampered by a tremendous debt load on the company,'' Harold Bevis, president and chief executive officer, said in that release. ``We are confident in our business strategy and our direction. We believe that this deal will effectively remove a cap that we have had on our profit performance and reinvestment rates and enable us to optimize Pliant's performance.''
Officials also disclosed that Pliant recently has won business in its personal-care and medical, food and beverage packaging and industrial markets businesses that will add $50 million of incremental sales.
Michigan to assist Assured expansion
LAWRENCE, MICH. - The state of Michigan has stepped forward with a $350,0000 grant to help finance a water tower in Lawrence needed for an expansion of injection molder Quality Assured Plastics Inc.
The custom molder wants to add both manufacturing space and equipment, but needed improved infrastructure from Lawrence to back its plans, President Annette Crandall said in a Dec. 7 telephone interview.
The grant from Michigan Economic Development Corp., along with a $150,000 loan from Van Buren County and $20,000 from the city, will provide the funds needed for the tower.
Quality Assured Plastics has 13 presses from 75-310 tons. It makes a variety of functional components for customers in multiple industries, including medical, automotive and consumer products.
Crandall said the company has not finalized its expansion plans yet, but state officials noted the work could add 35 jobs to its existing base of 40 employees.
Tupperware adds `Brands' to its name
ORLANDO, FLA. - Tupperware Corp. of Orlando is changing its corporate name to Tupperware Brands Corp., following the acquisition of Sara Lee Corp.'s direct-selling business.
Rick Goings, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a Dec. 5 news release that the name change reinforces Tupperware as a multibrand, multicategory direct-sales company.
``Additionally, it will make it easier for our numerous new beauty companies to communicate that they are part of a family of direct-selling companies,'' Goings said, ``including those acquired today from Sara Lee Corp., and that, in most cases, they will not be selling Tupperware products.''
Under Goings, Tupperware has diversified from a focus on home storage products to beauty care and other direct-selling brands, including Sara Lee. The firm cut 250 jobs at its only U.S. manufacturing plant, in Hemingway, S.C., earlier this year and announced plans to outsource more manufacturing.
Firms to showcase barrier performance
AMELIA ISLAND, FLA. - Better barrier performance will be a topic du jour for Nova-Pack Americas 2006 conference, being held Feb. 5-7 at Amelia Island.
Coatings firm Valspar Corp. of Minneapolis will debut ValOR, a new family of barrier/oxygen scavenger resins that allow extended shelf life, which may get brewers to justify plastic beer bottles in large unit volumes, according to a news release. ValOR resins are proprietary polyesters less prone to delamination than other barrier resins typically used in multilayer PET structures.
Valspar fully commercialized the resins in Europe nearly six months ago, General Manager Adam Sarson said in a Nov. 30 telephone interview.
``It's a response to an existing market need,'' Sarson said. The firm already has the resins in limited commercialization in films and paperboard.
Separately, NatureWorks LLC will report the results of an in-depth examination it did on improving the barrier performance of polylactide bottles. According to a news release, PLA is able to challenge PET in applications such as fresh dairy beverages, juices and water, where an oxygen barrier is not really an issue.
The firm, based in Blair, Neb., is working with partners to position PLA bottles in enhanced shelf-life applications, and officials say technology options being applied to PLA bottles for better barrier performance include multilayer structures, coatings and additives.