A business deal involving food-packaging giant Reynolds Foil Inc. of Richmond, Va., and two Mexican conglomerates was set to take effect Sept. 1.
Under the agreement, processed food and beverages producer Herdez del Fuerte, a 50-50 joint venture between Grupo Herdez SAB de CV and Grupo Kuo SAB de CV, will distribute Reynolds Foil's consumer products exclusively in Mexico under the Reynolds brand.
Reynolds' product line includes resealable bags as well as aluminum foil. The deal was announced in early June.
Grupo Herdez of Mexico City was founded in the 1920s. It has nine production plants, 10 distribution centers and employs 6,400.
Its brands include Herdez, Del Fuerte, McCormick, DoÃ±a María, Búfalo, Fair, Barilla, Yemina, La Gloria, Embasa, La Victoria, Chi-Chi's and Carlota y BlasÃ³n.
With annual sales of $1.5 billion, Grupo Kuo, also of Mexico City, manufactures polymer additives, nanocompounds and special nanomaterials. It also supplies the automotive and aeronautics industries. Its products include transmissions for the automotive industry and components for aircraft undercarriages.
In March, Kuo launched Biorene, a thermoplastic resin based on polystyrene and starch taken from yucca trees, corn, wheat or potatoes. According to Kuo, Biorene was developed jointly by its PS-producing subsidiary Riserine and the National Research Council of Canada (CNRC).
According to Juan Marco Gutiérrez Wanless, Grupo Kuo's CEO, Biorene substitutes 50 percent of the content derived from petroleum with the starch, making it that much friendlier to the environment.
Gutiérrez said it cost $1.4 million to develop Biorene, with a quarter of the money coming from Mexican government grants. The resin is produced at Riserine's Xicohtzinco manufacturing facility in the state of Tlaxcala.
While 60 percent of Resirene's clients are in Mexico, the remaining 40 percent are primarily in the Americas and Europe, according to Kuo.
Reynolds Foil is part of New Zealand's Rank Group Ltd.