N.J.'s Comar buys Unicon of Puerto Rico
BUENA, N.J. Comar Inc. has expanded its presence in pharmaceutical packaging by acquiring Puerto Rico manufacturer Universal Container Corp. (Unicon) for an undisclosed price.
Unicon, which is based in Cayey, Puerto Rico, makes injection molded, injection blow molded and extrusion blow molded parts and containers used in pharmaceutical packaging. The firm reported annual sales of $9.2 million for fiscal 2008, including $6 million from blow molding, in the most recent Plastics News ranking. The company employs 50 at a single manufacturing site.
In an April 20 news release, Comar officials said the Unicon facility will remain open and will expand. They could not be reached for further comment.
The deal gives [Comar] a high-quality, redundant facility for production, while also expanding our capacity to keep up with our rapid organic growth, Comar President Mike Ruggieri said in the release.
The transaction is the first for Buena-based Comar since 2007, when the 61-year-old firm sold its glass-vial business to focus on plastics. Its major plastic products include oral dispensers, plastic droppers and other delivery devices for liquid medication.
Comar operates a 130,000-square-foot plant in Buena.
No annual sales total for Comar was available. Its glass unit had annual sales of $24 million when it was sold to Kimble Glass Inc.
P&M Corporate Finance LLC of Southfield, Mich., served as Comar's financial adviser for the acquisition.
New Plasman plant to focus on auto
WINDSOR, ONTARIO Canadian injection molder and mold maker AP Plasman Corp. will build its first U.S. plant in Fort Payne, Ala., investing $12 million to $16 million.
Full details of the Windsor-based company's plans were to be released during an April 23 groundbreaking.
Initial plans call for Plasman to bring 150-200 jobs to the area, said De Kalb County economic development director Jimmy Durham.
The facility will go by the name Plasman Corp. and will focus on the automotive industry, he said. Executives from the company declined to comment until after the event.
It's official: Eastman's PET unit for sale
KINGSPORT, TENN. Eastman Chemical Co. is considering the sale of its PET business, the flagship material that has been its most recognizable product for more than 30 years.
Officials with Kingsport-based Eastman said the firm will review strategic options, including a possible divestiture, for its PET business.
A potential PET sale by Eastman has been rumored for some time. The firm had sold off its PET operations outside the U.S. in recent years as profitability in the industry has declined. PET profitability has been affected by a number of factors, including low growth in the carbonated soft drink segment and lightweighting of bottles, which has allowed processors to make thinner bottles that use less PET.
In an April 23 e-mail, Eastman spokeswoman Tracy Broadwater said the firm has worked hard for several years to improve the PET business, but despite our good efforts this continues to be a very challenging industry.
This [PET] business still isn't performing at acceptable levels and has not been a profitable business for us since 2005, she added. This has led us to consider whether we are the best owner of this business.
Eastman would like to find a buyer for the unit by the end of the year, according to Broadwater. Eastman has hired New York-based Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its financial adviser for the proposed sale.
Also on April 23, Eastman announced first-quarter financial results, showing that its Performance Polymers unit which includes PET posted an operating loss of $13 million in the first three months of the year, even as sales grew 18 percent. Based on sales, Performance Polymers was the smallest of Eastman's five reporting segments in the first quarter, and was the only one to show an operating loss.
Based on estimated annual sales, Eastman ranks as North America's second-largest PET maker, with a market share of 23 percent. Eastman produces all its PET in Columbia, S.C.
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