European rigid packaging producer Superfos A/S has pulled out of pharmaceutical container molding after selling the two Superfos Pharma plants in Denmark to German glass packaging manufacturer Gerresheimer Group.
Gerresheimer of Dusseldorf, which already produces some plastics products in Germany and Poland, has set its sights on becoming a major global maker of pharmaceutical packaging. It completed the deal in December.
Superfos Pharma, a leading supplier of plastic containers and closures in Europe, expanded last year to meet growing demand. It invested $5 million to convert a 119,000-square-foot injection molding plant that made food containers in Haarby, Denmark, to one for pharmaceutical products.
Vipperod, Denmark-based Superfos also operated its original Danish Pharma plant in Vaerlose. Production there outgrew the site, necessitating the Haarby expansion.
Late last year, Pharma closed a small container blow and injection molding plant in Sevenoaks, England, which, with just 22,600 square feet of space, was no longer viable as a stand-alone operation.
Superfos Pharma employed 120 at its Danish sites and achieved sales of some 25 million euros ($30.3 million) per year. The business also maintained several marketing offices across Europe.
Gerresheimer, owned since late last year by U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group, now manufactures at 21 sites in Europe, North America and Asia, and employs 6,000 worldwide. Its core business is production of glass packaging for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors, but it also serves the food and beverage market.
However, the German company also manufactures plastic containers, and said the Pharma operations offer ``an ideal fit'' with two of its operations: Bunder Glas GmbH in Bunde, Germany, a molder of polyethylene dropper bottles, sealed and childproof closures and screw caps; and Polfa SA of Boleslawiec, Poland, which makes catheters, transfusion sets and disposable syringes.
``We are expanding our technological base and creating new growth opportunities,'' Gerresheimer President and Chief Executive Officer Axel Herberg said of the acquisition.
In October, his company took a major step in pharmaceutical glass container manufacture with acquisitions in Asia and North America. It bought the Millville, N.J., glass works of competitor Glass Group Inc., and GGI's 45.7 percent stake in Chinese specialty glass manufacturer Beijing Wheaton.