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Packaging molder Berry acquires Erie Plastics assets

An announcement on Nov. 20 from plastic packaging manufacturer Berry Plastics Corp. (Evansville, IN; www.berryplastics.com), an Apollo Management LP and Graham Partners portfolio company, stated that its acquisition of certain assets of custom injection molder Erie County Plastics Corp. (Corry, PA, www.erieplastics.com) has been completed. After Erie filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept.

) has been completed. After Erie filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 29, Berry was the successful bidder for the majority of Erie Plastics’ assets including inventory, equipment, and other tangible and intangible assets. Berry Plastics paid $3.7 million from available cash on hand, which, combined with Erie’s approximate $1 million in cash on hand and $1.8 million in accounts receivable retained by the senior secured lenders, amounted to a total consideration of approximately $6.5 million.

According to a local news story from the Erie Times News (GoErie.com), Paul C. “Hoop” Roche, chief executive of Erie Plastics, tried to craft a deal with Ed Crawford, chief executive of Park Ohio Corp., to purchase the company, rename it Wellington Products, and keep the business running in Corry. However, Wellington came up short in the bidding, and the victorious Berry Plastics hired the Erie workers on a temporary basis through an employment agency. GoErie.com quotes Roche as saying, “It is our understanding they will run for 60-90 days and transfer work to other plants and shut this one down.”

Erie molded plastic lids for coffee cans and caps for laundry detergent for Procter & Gamble until the company announced it would take business elsewhere, which led to Erie Plastics’ reduction of 192 workers in March. After the layoffs, about 200 people were employed at the plant.

“Erie Plastics is a business with a long, respected history in plastic packaging,” said Robert Weilminster, VP of corporate development for Berry Plastics. “The workforce has done an outstanding job continuing the operations of the business during a difficult  time.”—[email protected]

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