Malaga, Australia — An Australian bottled water distributor has bought one of its bottle manufacturers.
Refresh Group Ltd., based in Malaga, a suburb of Perth, has bought blow molder AMPI Plastics Pty. Ltd., based in Keysborough, a suburb of Melbourne.
Refresh said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange it had established a wholly owned subsidiary, Refresh Plastics Pty. Ltd., to operate AMPI.
Refresh has bought PET bottles from AMPI since July 2012. Its statement said it has been producing PET bottles for its own use in Perth and Brisbane.
"Following the vertical integration of AMPI, it has the technology and know-how to expand its bottle capability. With Refresh's warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Perth and Kalgoorlie, it can provide AMPI customers with national support, thereby reducing turnaround time," the statement said.
AMPI manufactures plastic bottles and custom molded products. The company started in June 1976 with one employee and two small machines in a garage. Today it has more than 30 employees, operates from three buildings covering 430,500 square feet, and has more than 20 machines. Annual sales have ranged from A$3 million to A$4 million (US$2.2 million to $2.9 million) in recent years.
Besides producing its own products, AMPI is licensee of the trademarked petainerKeg for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. UK-based PET packaging company Petainer UK Ltd. developed the PET kegs to transport beer and wine, replacing steel kegs to reduce transport costs.
AMPI Managing Director Peter Vena said in a news release: "I've worked very hard for more than 40 years to build up AMPI. The staff has become like family to me. As I look to retirement, I want to ensure my staff are well taken care of. We have known Refresh for many years and seen how dynamic a company they are. I'm glad to hand AMPI over to good hands."
Refresh Chairman Henry Heng said Refresh was proud to buy "an industry veteran ... recognised for its quality and reliability." He said the same staff would remain and it would be business as usual, apart from the ownership change. He also said: "Refresh has the financial resources to now grow and expand the business."