Sonoco expands healthcare packaging footprint with thermoformer acquisition

Global packaging giant Sonoco (Hartsville, SC) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Thermoform Engineered Quality LLC and Plastique Holdings Ltd. (together TEQ; Huntley, IL), a manufacturer of thermoformed packaging serving the healthcare, medical device and consumer markets, from Esco Technologies Inc. for approximately $187 million in cash.

Gears showing partnership

TEQ reported sales of $88 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2018, and operates three thermoforming and extrusion facilities in the United States along with a thermoforming operation in the United Kingdom, and thermoforming and molded-fiber manufacturing in Poland. Each facility has cleanroom capabilities, enabling the production of sterile, barrier packaging systems for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In addition, TEQ produces recyclable, molded-pulp-fiber packaging and thermoformed plastic packaging for multiple consumer products primarily sold in Europe. The company has approximately 500 associates.

“Recent studies value the global healthcare packaging market at approximately $33 billion, with healthy growth expected for the future,” said Rob Tiede, Sonoco President and CEO. “Increased life expectancy, the steady introduction of new products from medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, combined with requirements for improved safety and compliance, are driving market growth. TEQ provides a strong platform to further expand Sonoco’s growing healthcare packaging business,” said Tiede. The company’s portfolio includes ThermoSafe temperature-assured pharmaceutical packaging; injection molded vials, multi-cell cuvettes and appliances; thermoformed trays for medical devices and OTC medical products; and Alloyd heat-sealing equipment for commercial medical applications.

TEQ President Randy Loga commented, “The U.S. and Europe will remain the largest consumers of healthcare packaging, as new sophisticated therapies with specialized packaging needs continue to be introduced. Surgical operations are also increasing due to a growing aging population, and with that comes the demand for more medical devices, which should strengthen the segment for the foreseeable future. TEQ’s history of growth mirrors the growth in healthcare spending and medical device utilization, and we look forward to joining Sonoco in further expanding our capabilities to meet our customers’ future needs.”

Sonoco’s acquisition of TEQ is subject to normal regulatory review and is projected to be completed by the end of 2019. There are no planned changes in TEQ’s leadership or customer relationships, noted the news release.

Sonoco reports approximately $5.4 billion in annualized net sales and has around 23,000 employees working in approximately 300 operations in 36 countries. It serves some of the world’s best known brands in some 85 nations. The company ranked first in the packaging sector on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2019 as well as Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies.

Image: Prazis Images/Adobe Stock

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