In a bid to cut costs, rigid packaging producer Superfos A/S will close its headquarters plant in Vipperod, Denmark, and switch production mainly to Eastern Europe.
The plant will close by the end of the year, cutting 140 jobs, the company announced. The firm will move its headquarters to a new location in Denmark.
In addition, Superfos is strengthening its position in the European retail food packaging market with its acquisition of rapidly growing Swedish ice cream container molder Mipac AB. The deal was worth 250 million Swedish kronor (US$36.6 million), according to Superfos.
Privately owned Mullsj-based Mipac, which was founded in 2002, has one plant and employs 65. The company posted a profit of SKr46 million (US$6.2 million) on 2006 sales of SKr200 million (US$27 million).
The Swedish injection molder will continue to operate with its existing management, according to Superfos.
Superfos Chief Executive Officer Hans Pettersson has been restructuring the company, switching some production out of Denmark to cut high operating costs in northern Europe.
``It is important to our continued competitiveness that we match the global development and meet our customers' needs,'' Pettersson said in a news release.
``Consequently, we plan to move parts of the production from Denmark to growth markets in Eastern and southern Europe. Increasing costs of production and freight in Scandinavia mean it is no longer possible to export to Eastern and central Europe,'' he said.
The Vipperod plant injection molds food and nonfood containers.
The company emphasized that it is not abandoning Denmark. Some work will move to a plant in Randers, for example.
In 2005, Superfos launched an injection molding plant in Lubien Kajawski, Poland. Employing 150, it represents the hub of the company's Eastern Europe expansion effort.
Superfos currently operates 10 plants in Europe and one in the United States, and employs a total of 1,500. Owned by Swedish investment firms Industri Kapital and Ratos AB, the group has annual sales of 342 million euros (US$460 million).