Packaging thermoformer Placon Corp. has agreed to buy a former Sonoco Products Co. plant in Wilson, N.C., to meet growth in Placon's food, health care and consumer markets.
Under the agreement, announced Oct. 13, Placon will acquire substantially all operating equipment at the 112,000-square-foot plant, including four large-scale thermoforming machines and two extrusion lines that complement the company's current capabilities. The company also will hire more than 80 people at the site.
A Placon spokesperson said via email the acquisition will help it overcome a current backlog in medical and retail markets and expand its presence in sustainable post-consumer recycled PET packaging.
Chief Financial Officer Dan Gilbert said in a news release, "The acquisition boosts Placon's production capacity overnight to serve a rapidly growing demand for our unique, sustainable packaging solutions." He noted the additional benefit of "expanding our national footprint into the Southeast."
Placon also announced its new clean rooms in Elkhart, Ind., will begin operating by Nov. 1, doubling the company's medical market capacity.
In addition to Elkhart and the new Wilson site, Placon has thermoforming operations in Madison, Wis; and Plymouth, Minn.; and injection molding in West Springfield, Mass. It employs about 600 people.
The company ranked No. 19 in Plastics News' recently published survey of North American thermoformers, with related 2020 sales of $159 million and total sales of $181 million.
Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco had said in July it would close the Wilson plant and consolidate some of its East Coast thermoforming work into its Plant City, Fla., operation. At the time, Sonoco encouraged the plant's 138 workers to relocate to other Sonoco facilities. The plant made clear PET clamshell trays for salads, tomatoes and berries.