Making a special acquisition

Specialized Packaging Inc. finalizes purchase of Canadian carton company

BE 100s CEO Carlton L. Highsmith has been busy of late designing more than just creative packages for consumer products. His Hamden, Connecticut-based company, Specialized Packaging International Inc. (SPI), has just boxed up the $24 million acquisition of Lawson Mardon Carton of North America from Alusuisse-Lonza Holding.

With this deal in place, the company, now renamed Specialized Packaging Group, will be able to cut out a very expensive middleman by producing their own packages within the company rather than designing packages and outsourcing the manufacturing to another firm.

Negotiations for the acquisition began in October 1997. Highsmith, whose concern makes the containers for products ranging from the Reach toothbrush and Johnson & Johnson dental floss to Allegra antihistamine, went looking for a viable means to expand his business. He sought out Lawson Mardon Packaging, a leading manufacturer of printed folding cartons for branded consumer products in beverage, food and paper categories. The new concern will consist of manufacturing facilities in Baldwinsville, New York, and London, Ontario.

With revenues of $24.8 million in 1997, SPI is No. 85 on the BE INDUSTRIAL SERVICE list. And Highsmith is projecting the acquisition will boost revenues to his company by 25%-35% over the next two to three years. “SPI is a great packaging, designing and engineering company, and by combining it with the manufacturing excellence of Lawson Mardon, we expect to become one of the highest-rated packaging companies in the country.”

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