Private equity company Mason Wells of Milwaukee has expanded its packaging profile with the purchase of Mullinix Packages Inc.
Fort Wayne, Ind.,-based Mullinix thermoforms clamshells, trays, cups and lids for food processing, retail and restaurant markets. It also makes its MX SleeveRedi thermoformed cups, which are wrapped with a paperboard sleeve. SleeveRedi's paperboard component adds strength to the cup, allowing the use of less plastic, the firm said. The sleeve is easily removed and provides high-quality graphics using offset and digital printing on the outside and inside of the sleeve.
Plastics News' estimates put the company's 2010 thermoforming sales around $100 million.
Mason Wells bought Mullinix from the family of George Lueken, who founded it in 1976. Lueken died at age 82 on June 20. The Society of Plastics Engineers awarded him its 2008 Thermoformer of the Year.
Other Mason Wells packaging businesses include Coating Excellence International LLC, a film converter that does laminating and makes woven polybags, bags and pouches in Wrightstown, Wis.; NEX Performance Films Inc., a Milton, Wis., maker of mono- and multilayer polyethylene packaging films sold to converters; and Oliver Products Co. of Grand Rapids, Mich., which makes medical-device and meat packaging.
The purchased business will be owned by Mason Wells and Mullinix management.
Mullinix's main markets are branded and private-label food processors, food packaging companies, fast-food restaurants and food-service distributors. It does roll-fed and in-line thermoforming using polypropylene, amorphous PET and crystalline PET.
The company just completed a $4 million, 292,000-square-foot expansion in Fort Wayne and consolidated its former Miami Lakes, Fla., plant into that site, Mullinix President and CEO Gene Gentili said via email.
The Florida plant had been making SleeveRedi. Gentili said Mullinex wanted SleeveRedi and its technical resources “close at hand.”
Tom Smith, Mason Wells' senior managing director, said in a news release that Mullinex “is well-positioned to capitalize on a number of market and new product opportunities in the thermoformed food-packaging industry.”