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Sonoco finalizes acquisitions, overseas expansions, and domestic closures

December 5, 2006

2 Min Read
Sonoco finalizes acquisitions, overseas expansions, and domestic closures

Packaging supplier Sonoco (Hartsville, SC) continues to grow sales through acquisitions and new products, announcing in its 2007 earnings guidance presentation on Dec. 1 that it completed the purchase of extruded and thermoformed packaging manufacturer, Clear Pack Co. (Franklin Park, IL), and that it will add blowmolding capabilities in the new year.

Harris DeLoach, chairman, president, and CEO of Sonoco reported that the company had grown top-line sales an average of 6% annually since 2000 through acquisitions, joint ventures, geographic expansion, and new products, with 60% of the company’s sales growth since 2000 coming from acquisitions. The company has closed 18 deals since 2004, with six signed in 2006.

Clear Pack, which has annual sales of $45 million, thermoforms and extrudes plastic containers for the food-service industry, including single-serve condiment and produce containers. Sonoco also reached a supply agreement with the Ross Products division of Abbott Laboratories to supply 8-ounce blowmolded bottles starting in March 2007. Sonoco will add blowmolding to its Wausau, WI facility by the end of the first quarter of 2007, with plans to start a new plant in Columbus, OH by the end of 2007, with multiple blowmolding machines.

DeLoach reported that new products have generated sales of $66 million through the third quarter of 2006, up 15% from 2005. The goal is to reap annual sales of $100 to $125 million from new products in the next few years.

On a global basis, Sonoco started up a protective packaging line in Kaiping, China in 2006 for an exercise equipment manufacturer and is developing a similar line for a European appliance maker in Turkey. The company also settled on a five-year contract to provide fulfillment services to the Lego Group, which will facilitate a service center in Strykow, Poland.

Sonoco also announced that it will close two Chicago-area injection molding facilities, effective Jan. 31, affecting some 50 employees. The closures are part of Sonoco’s initiative to reduce costs in 2007, with the planed shuttering of 12 plants globally. These operations molded plumbing-related plastic components.—[email protected]

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