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Sonoco Products buys flexible packaging converter


Photo by Plastic Packaging Inc. Plastic Packaging's capabilities include flexographic printing and converting.

Sonoco Products just had to look one state to the north in the US for its latest acquisition, Plastic Packaging, a printer and converter of flexible packaging.

Hartsville, South Carolina, US-based Sonoco said 2 November it acquired the Hickory, North Carolina-based company. Terms were not disclosed.

Sonoco adds about $42m (€37.8m) in annual sales through the acquisition of Plastic Packaging, which has manufacturing sites in both Hickory and Forest City, North Carolina.

The acquired company has about 170 workers, and specialises in short-run, customised flexible packaging, Sonoco said.

Important markets for Plastic Packaging include both human and pet foods, confectionary, and health and personal care, Sonoco said. The company also serves the lawn and garden, consumer products and tobacco markets, according to its website.

Primary products made by the company, which was founded in 1957, include both pouches and bags.

“This acquisition grows our flexible packaging assets in the southeast US, adding short-run capabilities that allow us to offer additional specialty and customisation capabilities to our customers,” said Rob Tiede, Sonoco’s senior vice president for global consumer solutions, in a statement.

“PPI complements Sonoco’s existing technologies and leverages our expertise in flexible packaging, while expanding our customer base in complementary markets,” he continued.

Plastic Packaging was founded by Cass Ballenger, a US congressman who served from 1986 to 2005, and a state representative and senator before that. Ballenger died last year, and the Plastic Packaging website indicates it was an employee-owned company.

Sonoco is in the process of selling its blow molding operations to Amcor, in a deal that was announced in September. But even with that divestment, Sonoco has significant plastics packaging assets, with about $400m (€360.5m) in annual sales. The remaining Sonoco plastics business includes thermoformed packaging and injection moulded spools, reels and cores.