US firms take up controlling stakes in Chinese processors

US consumer packaging firm Berry Plastics Group has acquired a 75% controlling interest of Qingdao P&B (P&B), with a minority ownership position retained by Peter Song, who is the original founder of P&B. Elsewhere, Henniges Automotive Holdings, a supplier of highly engineered sealing and anti-vibration systems for the global automotive market, has acquired the remaining 40% of Beijing Wanyuan-Henniges Sealing Systems from its Chinese joint venture with China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT).

In Berry’s case, the new company will conduct business under the name Qingdao Berry Plastics Ltd and provide rigid plastic packaging and personal care products to customers located in China as well as globally. P&B has annual revenues of US$34 million. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed

P&B is an established packaging business with operations and headquarters in the Qingdao, China free-trade zone, where it operates a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. P&B utilises thermoforming, injection, and automated assembly manufacturing processes to produce products for multiple markets across China as well as globally, most predominately serving the food and personal care markets.

“This acquisition is in direct alignment with our strategic objective of establishing a business presence in emerging global markets,” said Jon Rich, Chairman/CEO of Berry Plastics. P&B has served as a supplier to Berry Plastics for over seven years. Berry Plastics had an annual net sales of over US$4.6 billion in fiscal 2013. With world headquarters in Evansville, Indiana, the company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Henniges says that establishing sole ownership of Wanyuan-Henniges in China is the latest move in the company's strategic growth efforts to best support its customers' rapidly increasing needs in emerging markets around the world. Since November 2013, Henniges Automotive has signed strategic alliances with Amee Rubber Industries in India and Burkool in Argentina, leveraging the long-established relationships and capabilities of its partners with Henniges technical knowledge and expertise in global product adaptation sealing solutions.

"We continue to pursue opportunities that strengthen our global footprint in order to drive results and further our ability to serve key customers locally in China and around the world," said Doug DelGrosso, Henniges President/CEO. "After 18 years of operating as a joint venture with CALT, Henniges grew its capabilities and sealing technologies and now, as a wholly-owned entity, we look forward to continuing this success and providing solutions that meet local and global demands."

The Chinese entity will now operate under Henniges Automotive. The joint venture, Wanyuan-Henniges, began in 1995 to become a major sealing systems producer in China with five locations throughout the country including Beijing, Changchun, Chengdu, Tianjin and Teiling. Wanyuan-Henniges employs more than 1,500 people to design, develop and manufacture sealing solutions for its key customers including FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co. Ltd., FAW Car, Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen (DPCA) and Shanghai Volkswagen. Most recently, it began providing production parts for a global General Motors programme.

Henniges provides automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with sealing systems for doors, windows, trunks, lift gates, sunroofs and hoods. The company also supplies the automotive market with anti-vibration products, encapsulated glass, and other rubber components. Henniges sells to all major Automotive OEM customers and operates facilities in North America, Europe, and China. The company has over 6,500 employees worldwide.


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