Alpha Packaging Inc. now has the capacity to decorate its own bottles and jars, after acquiring Technigraph Corp. of Winona, Minn., for an undisclosed price.
``We make over 1 billion bottles a year. We're certainly not No. 1 in the industry, but you can still call us a niche player,'' Dave Spence, president of St. Louis-based Alpha Packaging, said in a March 20 telephone interview.
The acquisition adds to the company's national footprint, he said, especially in personal care, its fastest-growing niche.
``We've been bypassed by some customers when we didn't provide complete service. Now, they can get it done in one-stop shopping,'' he said.
Technigraph will operate as an independent business unit of Alpha Packaging. Technigraph's co-owners, John and Chuck Eddy, along with the rest of management, will stay on, as will its 100 employees, according to Alpha.
The company was founded in 1950 as a screen-printing outfit. Technigraph now prints on a variety of container shapes, sizes and materials, including plastic, glass and metal. It specializes in high-end, multicolor screen printing and focuses on personal-care, cosmetics, food and industrial packaging. Technigraph's site occupies over 135,000 square feet.
Spence said Technigraph will continue to serve its customer base and also might serve customers that buy from Alpha. Technigraph will continue to decorate many substrates, including materials Alpha does not manufacture.
The companies have worked together in the past and the acquisition should help both grow, Spence and John Eddy said.
``The combined company is better-positioned to compete in the marketplace by offering a wider range of services, products and innovation,'' John Eddy said in a news release.
Alpha's specialty is blow molding high density polyethylene and PET bottles and jars for personal-care, pharmaceutical, nutritional supplement and niche food and beverage products. It also makes bottles from low density PE, clarified polypropylene and polylactic acid.
The acquisition is Alpha's third major buy in the three years since it became part of Stonebridge Partners, a private equity firm in White Plains, N.Y. Spence said sales have grown from $50 million to about $120 million.
Alpha employs about 400 people at five manufacturing facilities.