Graham Packaging said that the acquisition would position the company "as a leading global supplier of blow-moulded plastic packaging for these two fast-growing beverage categories in the aseptically packaged format".
The move also aims to strengthen the company's commitment to on-site manufacturing with customers. All four of the acquired plants are co-located with existing customer production facilities.
The transaction, which is estimated to account for $21 million in revenues, will involve the transfer of all contracts, fixed assets, inventories, and plant employees from Tetra Pak, part of Tetra Laval Group, to Graham Packaging. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Graham Packaging Chairman and CEO Philip Yates said, "The point of our growth is to extend our ability to provide customers around the world with innovative custom packaging that in turn helps them build their businesses."
The company virtually doubled in size last year with the purchase of the plastic container business unit of Owens-Illinois, giving the company a global presence that includes 90 plants in 16 countries, including 25 plants on-site with customers.
As of June 2004, the company reported worldwide sales of $2.1 billionYates added that it was a significant opportunity to acquire established operations equipped with advanced blow-moulding technology and that the opportunity had also further increased the number of plants that the company owns with on-site customers.
Last year the company announced a new technology aimed at moving the company away from glass packaging towards plastics. Its proprietary Active Transverse Panel (ATP) bottle aims to give manufacturers design freedom and flexibility in creating a packaging identity that has hitherto been hard to achieve.
The new concept is the first panel-free hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, and is described by the company as the answer to current hot-fill bottling needs. The ATP technology enables 100 per cent of the vacuum to be removed from the package without the use of traditional panels - a problem that has traditionally plagued this kind of hot-fill technology.