Pactiv Corp. is in the final phase of a two-year, $12 million equipment upgrade to increase capacity for its line of expanded polystyrene trays for meat and other food packaging.
The program to update extrusion, thermoforming, padding and packaging equipment at four plants is expected to be complete in early 2011, according to a Sept. 14 news release from Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv.
Consumers prefer this type of meat packaging as the standard for freshness, quality, safety, and food flavor, said Peter Lazaredes, Pactiv food-service/food packaging business executive vice president and general manager, in a news release. Food processors are responding to consumer preferences and we're moving quickly to ensure continuous availability.
The trays, which are available in seven colors and various sizes and depths, are composed of 5 percent PS and 95 percent air by volume. Plants receiving upgrades to produce them are in Canandaigua, N.Y.; Temple, Texas; Greensboro, N.C.; and Malvern, Ark., spokesman Matthew Gonring said Sept. 14 by phone.
Pactiv, the maker of Hefty trash bags, is to be acquired late in 2010 by Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd. of Auckland, New Zealand, a subsidiary of billionaire Graeme Hart's Rank Group Ltd., in a deal worth about $6 billion.
Citing undisclosed sources, Bloomberg News reported Sept. 13 that Reynolds Group is seeking commitments by Sept. 27 for $1.5 billion in loans to fund the acquisition, and also may potentially market $2 billion in senior secured notes to aid the deal.
Pactiv had 2009 sales of $3.36 billion. It employs 10,700 at 51 plants in more than 20 countries.
According to Plastics News' most recent North American surveys, Pactiv ranked No. 1 among thermoformers in 2009, with related sales of $1.9 billion; and No. 11 among film and sheet firms, with sales of $514 million.