SussexIM, a contract manufacturer and supplier of innovative, custom plastics injection molding solutions for multinational brand owners, announced the purchase of the North American cosmetic compact business from the Albea Group. The purchase includes reacquiring its internationally renowned Innovation Center, which offers customers cutting edge innovation and product development expertise. In addition, it immediately gives SussexIM the autonomy to deal directly with cosmetics customers and grow its longstanding relationships with leading personal care companies.
SussexIM, founded in 1977, has a long history of cosmetic packaging capabilities. Keith Everson, president of SussexIM as well as the company’s founder, explained in a telephone interview with PlasticsToday that when Rexam purchased SussexIM in 1999, it was primarily for the fact that the company was “one of the leading North American manufacturers of cosmetic compacts for global cosmetic firms.” Rather that move all the machine technology and automation to a Rexam facility, they kept that segment of the business at SussexIM, which for a time was SussexRexam.
In 2009, Rexam wanted to sell the non-compact side of the business, and Everson completed a management buyout from Rexam’s Plastic Packaging group in 2010. Everson said that during the last three-and-a-half years, SussexIM has experienced annual double-digit growth and much success with customers such as DOW, Broan-Nutone, Purell, SC Johnson, Mr. Lid, MGO, United Technologies, and more.
Rexam’s personal care product unit was sold to Albea. “Albea looked at the automation and technology we had and decided to give us a supply contract for us to supply Albea customers with the compacts,” Everson explained. “However, the downside to that was that cosmetic customers couldn’t talk directly to us.”
In January of this year, Everson sat down with Albea to talk about reacquiring the cosmetic compact business. “It took me all year to finalize the agreement, but now we can work directly with the cosmetics companies to supply their products,” he said. “With the purchase of our cosmetic production assets, we can seamlessly and efficiently serve this exciting industry and delivery the quality, experience and return-on-investment SussexIM has long been known for.”
SussexIM’s global customer base includes many of the most respected, innovative, and demanding cosmetics power brands including L’Oreal, Revlon, Mary Kay, Neutrogena, and Elizabeth Arden.
The company’s Innovation Center, which had been moved to another facility, will return to SussexIM’s headquarters in Sussex, WI. “The return of these development resources and flexible innovation capabilities to our home base will help facilitate new cosmetic product development,” Everson said. “Our Innovation Center has been an important resource for leading cosmetics industry firms and ties back to our mission statement: ‘We solve problems to satisfy consumer needs.'”
The company has extensive automation design capabilities and an in-house, dedicated staff of automation engineers. “Speed-to-market in the cosmetics industry is more important today than ever,” Everson said. “Thanks to our control over the automation process, new product launch dates are met, which helps to ensure the marketplace success of critical new retail launches.”
Additionally, one result of the company’s highly efficient production process is the potential return of manufacturing business from off-shore competitors.
“We’re far more than just an injection molder making widgets and putting them into boxes,” said Everson. “We are a full-service, fully automated supplier to the innovation-driven cosmetics business, and we’re working with cosmetic companies to let them know that we can take care of their requirements right here in North America. With our ability to directly service our industry partners, we will be able to accelerate speed to market and continue to invest in capabilities to best serve our cosmetics customers for years to follow.”