Berry buys Ohio stretch film producer
EVANSVILLE, IND. — Berry Plastics Corp. has acquired 100 percent of the common stock of Linpac Packaging Filmco Inc. from Linpac USA Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of Birmingham, England-based Linpac Group Ltd.
According to an Aug. 31 news release, Evansville-based Berry paid about $19 million for Aurora, Ohio-based Filmco. Berry expects the acquisition to be immediately deleveraging.
Filmco is a manufacturer of PVC stretch film for fresh meat, produce, freezer and specialty packaging. It employs 100 in Aurora and had 2010 sales of $34 million, according to the release.
“Filmco's portfolio of premium performance films complements Berry's product offerings to the North American case-ready and in-store packaging markets,” Dave Corey, president of Berry's Specialty Films Division, said in the release.
Roland Castellanos, Filmco's general manager and Linpac Packaging's vice president for Spain, France and China, said the acquisition of the Filmco business marks an important milestone.
“Berry will focus on our segment and invest around the strong technologies of the business while providing our great employees with opportunity for professional growth,” Castellanos said.
“Berry, in turn, will gain a dedicated and professional team that has demonstrated its ability to generate value for all the business' stakeholders.”
SMS buys parent of robot maker Hekuma
WENDEN, GERMANY—Elexis AG, the parent company of Hekuma GmbH, the maker of high-speed robots for injection molding and thermoforming, has a new owner — SMS GmbH, a German industrial conglomerate once known in the plastics industry for its equipment holdings.
Elexis, which is traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, accepted the offer by SMS on July 13. SMS already had owned some shares, and the final purchase gives SMS an 84.5 percent ownership stake.
SMS, owned by Heinrich Weiss and his family, owns companies that make machinery for the steel industry. SMS used to have extensive holdings in plastics machinery manufacturing: Battenfeld injection presses, Battenfeld Gloucester film equipment, and extruders under the brands Battenfeld, American Maplan and Cincinnati Extrusion. SMS sold all those businesses in 2006 and 2007, as Weiss decided to focus heavily on the steel-making equipment.
Weiss said Elexis will be run as independent company. Weden-based SMS and Elexis have worked together over the years on joint customer projects, he said.
Hekuma is based in Eching, Germany. Its North American operation, Hekuma Automation LLC, is in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ford to use soy-based foam in headrests
DEARBORN, MICH. — Ford Motor Co. is taking its use of soybean oil-based foam blends into another part of the car — headrests.
The Dearborn-based automaker was the first major automaker to begin using a soy-foam blend when it put the material into seats on the 2008 Mustang. It has now been used in seats throughout Ford's vehicle lineup. In 2010, the company began using soy-foam blends in headliners.
Now Ford will use a foam with 25 percent soy-based content in head restraints in three-quarters of its vehicles, including the top-selling F-150 truck, the Taurus sedan and Explorer sport utility vehicle.
Supplier Lear Corp. will make the restraints. The Southfield, Mich.-based company was also the development partner on previous soy-based foam parts with Ford.
Ford estimates it has cut its use of petroleum-based foam by 3 million pounds per year by adapting to the soy blends made using renewable sources.
VisiPak begins extruding tubes in China
ST. LOUIS — VisiPak, a subsidiary of Sinclair & Rush Inc., has added extrusion of plastic packaging tubes to the existing injection and vinyl dip molding operations at its plant in Changzhou, China.
According to an Aug. 31 news release, the expansion will serve the Chinese domestic market, as well as other VisiPak customers in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Various product lines will be offered, including open-ended tubes that can be cut to size and VisiPak's PermaSeal line of clear plastic containers that are permanently sealed on one end and topped with a decorative or functional closure.
Sinclair & Rush officials would not comment further on the expansion. The St. Louis-based group of companies operates plants in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, China, England, France Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
Six companies operate under the Sinclair & Rush name: StockCap, VisiPak, GripWorks, VynaFlex, Castle Bay and Soffware.