Michael Plotzke, chief financial officer, treasurer and senior vice president of finance of Plymouth, Mich.-based Plastipak Holdings Inc., was awarded Plastics News' CFO of the Year award at the 2018 Plastics Financial Summit, held Oct. 23-24 in Chicago.
"I wouldn't have received that award without my team," Plotzke said in an interview following the conference. "There's no 'I' in 'team.' I tell people that all the time. … I like to analogize baseball teams' success. There's the teamwork concept; there's no one person that makes the team win. I would tell you that Bill [Young, Plastipak CEO, president and chairman] over the years has built himself a very strong team around him. Without his team, he would not have achieved the success that he has."
Container maker Plastipak celebrated its 50-year anniversary last year and has 6,400 employees working in more than 40 production sites worldwide. The company serves the aerosol; consumer cleaning; personal care; food and beverage; and automotive, industrial and agricultural products markets.
Plastipak Packaging Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Plastipak Holdings, was ranked third in the most recent list of PN blow molders with sales of $1.87 billion, according to PN data. Plotzke said Plastipak Holdings' net sales for 2017 were approximately $2.8 billion, and sales for 2018 should exceed $3 billion.
Plotzke, 61, leads a team of "outstanding finance professionals" to raise capital to fuel company growth, which has included two acquisitions in the last three and a half years. One was recycling company Clean Tech UK, which he described as "strategic."
"It really allows us to provide recycled content to some major consumer product companies," he said. "It was a very small acquisition, but it gave us a lot of capability in that region for recycling content."
Plastipak also acquired Artenius PET Packaging Europe, or APPE, which increased the company's sales by approximately $650 million and allowed it to expand its footprint across Europe in areas in which it didn't previously operate.
"When we look at acquisitions, we look at the management team, the age of the equipment, the technology they have," he said, "and if all of those boxes are checked, then that becomes a very attractive target for us."