Graham Packaging Holdings Co. will invest $12 million to expand a blow molding facility in Altavista, Va., adding 10-12 new jobs to its 31-person workforce.
The expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in March, ``will effectively double the size of that plant,'' spokesman Donald Sarvey said in an Aug. 28 telephone interview. He would not disclose the size of the food and beverage containers facility, which Graham acquired from Owens-Illinois Inc. in 2003.
Local officials praised the York, Pa.-based packaging supplier's decision to reinvest in the town, which until 2001 was the headquarters of Lane Furniture Industries, famous for its cedar chests and Virginia furniture.
``We looked at a number of other states and locations, and Virginia is a business-friendly state where we feel very welcome,'' Graham Vice President Mark Leiden said in a news release.
The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $50,000 in funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance.
Graham makes more than 20 billion containers annually at 87 plants in the Americas and Europe. The company had sales of $2.49 billion in 2007 and employs 8,700.
Blackstone Group of New York is the majority owner of Graham. On June 30, Dallas-based Hicks Acquisition Co. Inc., a special-purpose acquisition company founded by Texas Rangers owner Thomas Hicks, said it would buy Graham for $3.2 billion and would take the company public. That transaction, which will result in a new firm known as Graham Packaging Co. Inc., is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.