Pepsi invests in in-house bottle making
PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi Beverages Co. will invest $10 million in launching an on-site bottle-manufacturing operation at its Latham, N.Y., bottling plant.
The project, which will replace merchant-supplied plastic bottles with those blow molded in-house, aims to improve sustainability and productivity, according to a news release from the Capital Region Economic Development Council, a state agency focused on the Albany, N.Y., area.
The plant will install blow molding machines designed to cut energy use by more than 2.4 million kilowatt-hours annually. Switching to on-site production also will save energy on transportation and reduce the need for bottle handling and preparation, according to the release.
Pepsi will hire five additional workers. The plant currently has 325 employees, 167 of whom work in manufacturing.
Purchase-based Pepsi received $286,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, a public-benefit corporation that awards funding for energy-saving projects.
In June, Pepsi began producing hot-fill PET bottles at a Gatorade plant in Mountain Top, Pa.
Floor maker QEP bids on Harper Brush
BOCA RATON, FLA. — QEP Co. Inc. filed a bid to acquire substantially all the assets of Fairfield, Iowa-based Harper Brush Works Inc., a 112-year-old cleaning products company currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
QEP said in an Oct. 15 news release that it has executed an asset purchase agreement with Harper Brush to acquire the company's real estate, inventory, intellectual property and other assets for about $2.2 million. The bid first must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the South District of Iowa and would serve as the opening bid on the company. The court can also accept other bids, and proceedings are expected to be completed in the next 45 days.
Marc Ross, chief restructuring officer at Harper Brush, said in an email he is pleased with the prospects of the proposed sale and looks forward to the company thriving under new ownership. He said the sale would allow the company to “obtain the needed investment to continue manufacturing for many years.”
Harper Brush Works makes brushes, push brooms, mops, buckets, dust pans, housewares, long-handled cleaning tools, microfiber/dusting tools, and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Harper filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of May. In a May 31 news release, it said it had been adding production capacity since 2002. The company said it had lost a significant customer in 2010, and that, along with added debt from expansion, created financial challenges.
In May it said it had 70 full-time employees, and sites in Iowa and Greenville, N.C. The North Carolina plant is no longer operating.
Boca Raton-based QEP, which was founded in 1979, makes, markets and distributes hardwood flooring, installation tools, adhesives and related products for commercial and consumer use.
Auction set for Conair appliance assets
EAST WINDSOR, N.J. — Heritage Global Partners will conduct an online auction of plastics processing and other equipment at Conair Corp.'s now-closed Cartago, Costa Rica, facility.
East Windsor-based Conair develops, manufactures and markets health and cosmetic products, and kitchen and electronic appliances and has referred to the Costa Rica site as its “appliance manufacturing division responsible for supervising worldwide production of Conair products.”
Key assets being auctioned Nov. 14-15 include 33 injection molding machines featuring one each of Negri Bossi units of 520 and 210 tons and a 325-ton Sandretto press; a Sencorp model 220 in-line form-and-trim thermoforming machine; a small-batch, fast-cycle, sputtering vacuum coating system with dual-load stations; 30 riveting machines; and a battery-powered Hyster forklift.
Conair established its 200,000-square-foot Babyliss Costa Rica SA operation in 1989. The company recently transferred most of the work to Asia, primarily China, and has closed the plant, said John Mayorek, a Conair executive.
The sale is being conducted in cooperation with the Heritage Global division of Asset Remarketing International S de RL de CV of Querétaro, Mexico, and Bidspotter.com. The equipment can be previewed Nov. 13 online.
Publicly traded Counsel RB Capital Inc. of Toronto acquired Heritage Global Partners of San Diego on Feb. 29 and operates Heritage as a wholly owned subsidiary.