Packaging manufacturer Sonoco Products Co. has acquired thermoformer Associated Packaging Technologies Inc. of Chadds Ford, Pa.
Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco said in a news release that it paid about $120 million in cash to buy APT, which makes food trays, from New York private equity firm Castle Harlan Inc. The deal, which closed June 29, boosts Sonoco's thermoformed food-packaging sales to about $200 million, said spokesman Roger Schrum.
With this acquisition, Sonoco has significantly expanded its existing thermoforming plastic container capabilities into the growing global frozen, chilled and ready-to-eat food markets, Harris DeLoach Jr., Sonoco's chairman, president and CEO, said in the release.
Founded in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1993, APT is a leading provider of dual-ovenable food packaging for the frozen-food industry in North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand. The company operates crystalline PET thermoforming plants in Chillicothe, Mo; Waynesville, N.C.; Cambridge, Ontario; and Carrickmacross, Ireland. It employs more than 400.
In addition to manufacturing capacity of about 3 billion CPET containers annually, APT has monolayer and multilayer barrier polypropylene container capabilities. The company also is invested in the development of recycled-PET frozen-food trays.
While APT is today the leading global supplier of CPET containers, we believe its proprietary material formulations and rotary thermoforming technology provide a strong platform for significant product development and growth, DeLoach said. APT also will aid Sonoco's development of multilayer barrier PP food containers, he added.
Sonoco spokesman Roger Schrum said Sonoco first got into thermoformed food packaging in 2006, when it acquired Clear Pack Co. in Franklin Park, Ill., thereby gaining a presence in single-serve condiment and produce packaging.
Clear Pack has annual sales in the $40 million to $50 million range. This [APT deal] puts us in the $200 million range, which is a pretty good size for North America, Schrum said in a June 30 interview.
Sonoco is a manufacturer of industrial and consumer products and packaging, with $3.6 billion in sales.
For the first quarter of 2010, the company reported profit of $48.6 million on sales of $935 million, compared with profit $23.1 million on sales of $801 million for the year-ago period.
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