Food-service products majors Wilkinson Industries Inc. and Dispoz-o Products Inc. have joined forces, effective April 30.
Wilkinson's owner, Mid Oaks Investments LLC, purchased Dispoz-o for undisclosed terms and will combine the two businesses while retaining their brand identities.
The beauty is there is no overlap between the two companies but there is overlap for their customers and distributors, said Wayne Kocourek, chairman and CEO of Mid Oaks in a telephone interview.
Wilkinson makes clamshells, trays, pans and deli containers out of thermoformed oriented polystyrene, PET and polylactic acid, said Gregory Jehlik, Wilkinson's president since 2007. He now holds that title at Dispoz-o. Wilkinson also makes aluminum food-service products such as trays. Its sole plant is located at its headquarters in Fort Calhoun, Neb.
Dispoz-o uses injection molding, extrusion and thermoforming to make polystyrene, polypropylene and foamed plastic cutlery, drinking straws and meal and dietary kits. The firm's stake in environmental products is centered on its Enviroware line, which contains additives that promote degradation.
Dispoz-o's head office plant is in Fountain Inn, S.C., and it operates warehouses in Commerce, Calif., and Houston.
Combined, the two businesses have annual sales of about $180 million and employ about 1,000, of which 650 come from Dispoz-o. Total area of their plants and warehouses is more than 1 million square feet, Jehlik said.
Privately held Mid Oaks has a history in plastics. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., company bought Wilkinson in 2004 and has owned blow molder Liquid Container LP of West Chicago, Ill., since 1990.
Kocourek said there are no plans to consolidate facilities or cut costs by laying off people.
Together the companies bring a broader product mix to the market, with products and technologies that are complementary, Jehlik said.
Wilkinson will be able to offer a higher level of service and innovation as a result of the deal. The companies also should be able to accelerate development of sustainable products beyond their current offerings. Major markets for the two include the food-service, restaurant, grocery, food processing, institutional and health-care industries.
Dispoz-o was owned by its founder, Peter Iacovelli, who sold the business to retire. Joseph Lancia, Dispoz-o's former CEO, will stay on as a consultant. He led the company's doubling in size during the past six years, according to a news release.
Dispoz-o's customers will now have an opportunity to be better served by a wider array of products, Lancia said in the release.
Jehlik said Wilkinson was actively looking for a merger or acquisition and will continue to look for other opportunities.