Orbis' niche grows with Norseman buy
OCONOMOWOC, WIS. In a deal that combines two companies that make plastics materials-handling products, Oconomowoc-based Orbis Corp. said Oct. 27 it acquired Norseman Plastics Holdings Ltd. of Toronto.
With the buy, Orbis gains Norseman's 600 employees, as well as plants in Toronto; Howell, Mich.; Osage City, Kan.; and Kissimmee, Fla. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Norseman makes plastic reusable containers, trays, bins and pallets for the bakery, beverage, dairy, recycling/waste collection, food-service, agriculture and meat processing markets. Orbis makes returnable containers, pallets, totes and dunnage.
``This acquisition strengthens Orbis' position as a leader in plastic reusable packaging and provides us with tremendous growth opportunities in diverse markets,'' Orbis President Jim Kotek said in a news release.
Norseman executives did not return calls seeking comment. The company posted estimated injection molding sales of $82 million in 2007, according to Plastics News' most recent ranking.
Orbis, which runs 23 North American sites, does structural foam, injection and compression molding and compression. It is owned by holding company Menasha Corp. of Neenah, Wis., a niche packaging, logistics and marketing services firm that employs 3,200 and reported 2007 sales of $927 million.
Fitzpak to open factory in N. Carolina
CRANBURY, N.J. Custom thermoformer Fitzpak Inc. is expanding operations by opening a new facility in Mebane, N.C.
``I have seen a massive influx of what were offshore opportunities that have come full circle it's a combination of price increases in China, a lower supply of labor combined with shipping costs and a weaker dollar. It has really created a massive opportunity,'' said President Andrew Fitzsimmons.
When a large customer moved production to the Mebane area, he said he realized the region had a growing manufacturing base and was situated to serve the mid-Atlantic region.
``Despite the economic climate, I feel the opportunities in packaging over the next three to five years are the most abundant I've seen,'' he said in a telephone interview.
He pointed to prospects in noncontact pharmaceutical, personal-care and beauty products as big growth areas.
Fitzpak is leasing a 30,000-square-foot plant that will be open by mid-December. The plant will have at least six lines to start and five to 10 employees, Fitzsimmons said.
He said there will be opportunities for the company's 37,000-square-foot headquarters plant in Cranbury as well. The plant has six production lines and 40 employees working two shifts.
Fitzpak also has design and prototyping capabilities.
Pepsi bottler expanding site in Ohio
TOLEDO, OHIO According to local sources, PepsiAmericas Inc. plans a $12.5 million expansion to allow it to blow mold and fill 1-gallon plastic Lipton tea bottles at its Toledo bottling plant.
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner announced Oct. 27 that in addition to about $110,000 in state incentives, the city has proposed a tax credit of about $51,000 over six years. The plant employs about 250.
Toledo's The Blade newspaper reported Oct. 28 that Minneapolis-based PepsiAmericas, the second-largest bottler of Pepsi products, also will blow mold the bottles at two other plants in the U.S. PepsiAmericas officials did not return calls.
Rayven to build coatings plant in Minn.
ST. PAUL, MINN. Rayven Inc., a St. Paul-based provider of laminating, coating and converting services, was to break ground at the end of October on a new manufacturing facility in Owatonna, Minn.
Rayven's St. Paul plant has 37,000 square feet of manufacturing space and offices. The 30,000-square-foot building in Owatonna will accommodate increased demand for Rayven's specialty release liners and graphic arts products, President Joe Heinemann said in an Oct. 19 news release.
The new building will house two coating lines, including a 72-inch line that will be moved from St. Paul. Plans call for both lines to be running by July 1. The city of Owatonna gave Rayven tax increment financing and equipment incentives, Rayven said.
The Owatonna People's Press reported the total project will cost $2.5 million and employ six or seven.