SÃO PAULO — ACG-Pharmapack, a solution provider in barrier packaging films, is expanding its South American footprint in Brazil, and starting a new laminating partnership in Argentina for the second quarter, the company's regional business director told Plastics News.
ACG's sales base for South America has been in São Paulo since 2010, with all machinery and products traditionally imported from India.
However, the company opened a packaging films warehouse in Brazil in early 2013 as a logistics hub for imports, and has been pleased with how about 50 percent of its active customers in the country chose to shift their orders over to the new Brazil warehouse, as opposed to continuing with large-volume imports from India.
The Brazil warehouse has also let ACG tap into a new market of small and mid-sized Brazilian companies that it couldn't realistically sell to before through imports alone, adding 15 new customers within the past year. ACG shipped 466 tons of packaging film in Brazil last year, and aims to triple that figure this year through further expansion of its small and mid-sized client base within the country.
If the company can meet that growth target for 2014, it's considering building a local plant for value-added coated film products within two years, said Fernando Amorim, business director for Latin America, on the sidelines of Brazilian trade show FCE Pharma-Cosmetique, May 12-14.
ACG is also beginning to build a medicine capsule production plant in Brazil's Minas Gerais state, which carries a projected investment of $55 million and should open by late 2016.
In Argentina, the company is in the process of forming ACG Argentina, and plans to begin importing Aclar and rigid PVC film to the country in the second half of this year. ACG will contract a local converter to provide lamination service using those two materials, with the finished laminate film then exported by ACG Argentina throughout the Mercosul region.
“While so many companies are pulling out of Argentina, with this arrangement we can balance how much profit we keep in the country, which is important to be able to import to Argentina,” Amorim said.
The company is also eyeing a third expansion phase for the region within the next two years. It would involve setting up operations in Colombia for lamination through a partner, similar to the plan in Argentina, in order to serve markets in northern South America and Central America, Amorim added.