Consolidated Container Co. LLC of Atlanta is continuing its acquisition spree with the purchase of Steel Valley Plastics Inc., a blow molder of polycarbonate water bottles based in Canfield, Ohio.
Steel Valley is Consolidated's third purchase this year, as growth by acquisition becomes a major thrust, officials said. It expands Consolidated's presence in the bulk water-bottle market in the northeastern and midwestern United States. The transaction is scheduled to close by month's end.
Officials said details still are being worked out, such as whether the Steel Valley name will remain with Consolidated.
Steel Valley Plastics operates one 17,000-square-foot plant with two lines and 15 employees, which Consolidated will keep in operation. The firm's specialty is 3-gallon to 5-gallon containers.
The firm began in 2000, an offshoot of Steel Valley Racks Inc., also of Canfield. That part of the business specializes in steel tubing for rack systems, officials said, and is not part of the sale.
Steel Valley Plastics is owned by President Paul Sherba, Bob Woerner, its vice president of manufacturing, and Norm Anderson, vice president of sales. After the sale closes, Sherba has other business interests that are ongoing. Woerner will do limited consulting with Consolidated, and Anderson will stay on with Consolidated.
It was always the goal of the three men to sell the company five to eight years after its start. From its zero-customer beginnings, the company has grown 20-30 percent every year, although 2005 was crimped a bit by the impact of higher resin prices.
``We took a leap of faith and went into business as three friends,'' Sherba said in a Dec. 5 telephone interview. ``Bob was the manufacturing guru and Norm was the supersalesman. That's what made the whole thing work. We had three different individuals that had three different strong points. That's what really made it go.''
In February Consolidated acquired polycarbonate bottle manufacturer STC Plastics Inc. of Chino, Calif. In June the company acquired Mayfair Plastics in Carson, Calif., to expand its West Coast operations.
In Plastics News' 2005 ranking of blow molders, Consolidated reported $790 million in U.S. blow molding sales with 61 plants and 3,500 employees.