Plastic sheet and bag giant Novolex is expanding again, this time with the purchase of Wisconsin Film & Bag Inc. for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced Oct. 1.
Like its previous acquisitions, this deal helps Novolex diversify beyond its traditional base in plastic T-shirt bags — in this case into custom film and packaging.
Based in Shawano, Wis., with about 175 employees, Wisconsin Film & Bag has been manufacturing custom film and bags for 43 years and has expanded into sustainable and recycled materials with its own converting and recycling plants.
“We are excited about the addition of Wisconsin Film & Bag to the Novolex family,” Stan Bikulege, chairman and CEO of Novolex, said in an Oct. 1 news release. “This is important to us because it will further enhance our high quality packaging choices for customers while advancing our position as the industry leader in sustainability.”
Novolex ranks No. 13 in Plastics News' most recent survey of North American film & sheet manufacturers, with estimated film sales of $600 million.
Wisconsin Film & Bag ranked No. 84 in the same survey, with estimated sales of $62 million.
Chicago-based Wind Point Partners acquired Hilex Poly Co. LLC in November 2012 and changed its plastic and packaging portfolio to the Novolex name late last year.
Wind Point has steadily grown the business with purchases since, acquiring Packaging Dynamics Corp. in December 2014, paper bag maker Duro Bag Manufacturing Co. in July 2014 and a portion of Clondalkin Group's North American Flexible Packaging division in April 2013.
Novolex also operates the world's largest plastic bag recycling facility in North Vernon, Ind., and does an estimated $2 billion in annual sales across its 37 North American facilities.
In June, Reuters reported that Wind Point had hired investment firms to consider the sale of Novolex, though neither the plastic bag company nor the private equity firm has commented on the matter.