Sonoco looks to expand into new markets with purchase of Plastic Packaging

Consumer packaging firm Sonoco (Hartsville, SC) has acquired Plastic Packaging Inc. (PPI; Hickory, NC), a privately-held flexible packaging company, from its neighboring state North Carolina. PPI specializes in short-run, customized flexible packaging for consumer brands in markets for food, pet, confection and health and personal care. The company also serves the lawn and garden, consumer products and tobacco markets.

PPI anticipates 2016 sales of approximately $42 million and runs two manufacturing facilities in both Hickory and Forest City, North Carolina, with approximately 170 employees.

PPI has flexographic printing and converting equipment.

Through the acquisition, Sonoco says it gains additional lamination, wide and narrow web flexographic printing, and pouch and bag forming capabilities that will allow Sonoco to better serve its current customers, while growing its customer base.

"This acquisition grows our flexible packaging assets in the southeast U.S., adding short-run capabilities that allow us to offer additional specialty and customization capabilities to our customers," said Rob Tiede, Sonoco's Senior Vice President for Global Consumer Solutions. "PPI complements Sonoco's existing technologies and leverages our expertise in flexible packaging, while expanding our customer base in complementary markets."

Sonoco (Hartsville, SC) is currently in the process of selling its rigid plastics blowmolding business for $280 million to global packaging company Amcor (Melbourne, Australia).

According to Jack Sanders, Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer, the decision to sell the blowmolding operations was made to focus the company’s consumer packaging portfolio and provide resources to further expand its targeted growth businesses, including flexible packaging, thermoforming rigid plastics and temperature-assurance packaging for transporting pharmaceuticals, biologics and vaccines.    

Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and display and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately $5.0 billion, the company has 21,000 employees working in more than 300 facilities in 34 countries.


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