Alcan Inc. of Montreal has expanded its flexible packaging capacity in Latin America with the acquisition of the packaging business and assets of film extruder and converter Recubrimientos y Laminaciones de Papel SA de CV (Relapasa) of Monterrey, Mexico.
Under the deal, Alcan Packaging Mexico SA de CV, the Canadian company's local offshoot, gains a plant in Monterrey, to add to its plants in Tlaquepaque, near Guadalajara, and Zacapú in Michoacan state.
The transaction, details of which were not disclosed, strengthens Alcan's position in the rapidly growing Mexican packaging market and will improve Alcan's service to U.S. customers, according to the company.
Meanwhile, across the Pacific, Alcan has consolidated its grip on the Chinese flexibles joint venture Propack, which it acquired with VAW Flexpac in May 2003. Alcan has acquired VAW's 35 percent share of the venture.
Beijing-based Propack, which employs 1,200, makes food and pharmaceutical flexible packaging at four Chinese plants in Jiangyin, Huizhou, Chengdu and Beijing. Alcan did not disclose terms of the deal but confirmed that Propack founder Patrick Cheung will continue as president and managing director.
In the Mexican deal, Alcan gains Relapasa's experienced workforce of around 250 in a business with estimated 2005 annual sales of almost $22 million. Alcan now will employ a total of 1,250 in its Mexican packaging operations.
``The Monterrey site will provide an expanded manufacturing platform from which to accelerate Alcan's food and specialty flexible packaging growth in the Mexican domestic market,'' said Christel Bories, president and chief executive officer of Alcan Packaging, in a news release.
Current details about Relapasa's capabilities were not available, but in the mid-1990s, Relapasa ran three polyethylene- based film extrusion lines and was capable of coextruding three- to five-layer films.