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One of Europe's largest blown and cast film extruders, RKW, has acquired a U.S.-based competitor, Danafilms. Danafilms' president, Sherman Olson, and the company's management team will remain with the company in their current roles.

Matt Defosse

January 4, 2011

2 Min Read
Plastic film extrusion: RKW acquires Danafilms

"The U.S.A. and North America has been a strategically interesting market for the RKW Group for a long time," RKW's spokesperson told MPW, and explained that the company has been actively searching for a partner there "for some time." For RKW (Frankenthal, Germany) the purchase provides it with extrusion capacity in North America; it does have a sales office in Rome, GA with two employees there, but declined to quantify the size of its current sales in North America. Over the past dozen years RKW has quadrupled in size, and now includes 18 plastics processing facilities, with 17 in Europe and one in Vietnam. By QTR 4 of 2011, it also will be producing in Egypt, where it plans to extrude non-wovens. The Group operates in five globally active business units: industrial films, industrial packaging, consumer packaging, agricultural films and nets as well as hygiene and medical films.

RKW and British Polyethylene Industries jockey over the top slot in Europe's plastic films market in terms of volume produced annually. Since 2000 RKW has built its position through the acquisition of film extrusion businesses from UPM-Kymmene and BP Chemicals, among others. In October 2010 RKW was the only plastics film extruder, of 76 winners, to be awarded a "Supplier of Excellence 2010" award by Procter & Gamble; RKW supplies P&G with films and nonwovens.

Danafilms (Westborough, MA) was founded in 1970 in Westborough by Sherman Olson. The company extrudes in Westborough and in a Franklin, Kentucky facility built in 2000. Danafilms recently acquired a 7-layer blown film line from Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H), the processor's second W&H 7-layer system. The processor's product portfolio includes lamination, label, lidding and barrier films, with its principal customers converters serving the food and beverage, pet food, landscape/gardening and industrial sectors.

In a statement, Sherman Olson noted, "Danafilms' employees have built a strong foundation from humble beginnings. By joining the RKW Group, we have access to the resources of one of the global leaders in the industry. RKW and I see exciting opportunities to better serve existing customers and introduce Danafilms to new customers."

According to RKW CEO Roland Roth, "Joining the RKW Group is an important step for Danafilms' further growth, stability and sound future. The high quality standards, the creative and professional manner in which customer expectations are transformed into innovative and efficient solutions and the years of experience convinced us that Danafilms with its two strategically located up-to-date facilities would represent a valuable addition to our company." Under RKW's decentralized management structure, customers will continue to deal with existing relationships and RKW products and services will be added to Danafilms' portfolio.

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