Maker of EcoHanger secures new funding
NEW YORK — Hanger Network Inc. has raised $10 million in a second fundraising round to expand distribution of its EcoHangers made of plastic and paper.
The New York-based company has signed ABS Ventures of Waltham, Mass., as the lead investor, joining previous investors Kodiak Venture Partners of Waltham and Boston-based Sigma Partners in a deal that brings total funding for the 5-year-old enterprise to $18 million, Chief Executive Officer Bob Kantor said in a June 19 news release.
EcoHangers, which consist of a half-ounce polypropylene hook attached to a paperboard body, are distributed free nationally to participating dry cleaners. Advertising printed on the detachable hanger bodies pays for the operation, saving cleaners about 8 cents per unit over wire hangers.
The Series B funding ``allows us to further expand our reach into the 35,000-plus dry cleaners across the country and into exciting new areas such as retail and hospitality,'' Kantor said in the release.
It's a big boost for EcoHangers, which recently have garnered national media attention as part of the green business movement.
In a June 24 telephone interview, Kantor said EcoHangers will be distributed to several clothing manufacturers in July, with the expectation that retailers will pass the hangers along to consumers with the garments.
``We'd much rather have the PP being recycled and the paper being recycled, as opposed to going into landfills,'' he said. Part of EcoHangers' appeal to consumers is the ease with which they can be recycled, according to Kantor.
``You take the recycled paper product off and put it in with your newspapers. You pull that little plastic hook off and take it to your dry cleaner, where it's sent back for re-use,'' he said.
Hanger Network is looking to source recycled extrusion-grade PP ``in the tens of millions'' of pounds, Kantor said.
That volume is needed to cope with the company's 500 percent business growth since 2005, he said.
IPG buying Amcor's Perth flexibles plant
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA Amcor Ltd. plans to sell its flexible packaging plant in western Australia to Integrated Packaging Group for A$35 million (US$36.8 million).
The proposed sale signals Melbourne-based Amcor's exit from production of industrial stretch-wrap film. The plant supplies Australia and New Zealand.
``Amcor's strategy in flexible packaging is to focus on the higher-value-added segments of the food and health-care markets,'' Ken MacKenzie, Amcor managing director and chief executive officer, said in a news release. ``This plant was not aligned to the remainder of Amcor's flexibles business, as it was the only Amcor site that produced industrial stretch-wrap film.''
John Cerini, CEO of Melbourne-based IPG, said the Perth plant produces cast and blown polyethylene products, including stretch and shrink film.
IPG and Amcor expect to complete the transaction by the end of July. The deal follows IPG's goal of growing by buying established businesses and expanding its existing plants in Melbourne and Auckland, New Zealand, Cerini said.
The move will allow IPG to reach global markets including Asia and North America, he said.
``It gives us access to cast-film technology, new sales market segments and provides an excellent platform for future expansion of the business,'' he added.
Privately owned IPG employs more than 200 at its Melbourne and Auckland plants, where it makes stretch films and wrapping for agricultural, industrial and commercial applications. The company also markets stretch-wrapping machinery.
IPG claims 3,000 customers worldwide and has a U.S. marketing office at Byron Center, Mich., and one in Canada at Kingston, Ontario.