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M&As: Greiner Packaging buys Serbian PET flake producer Alwag; Atkore acquires Cascade Poly Pipe and Northwest Polymers

M&As: Greiner Packaging buys Serbian PET flake producer Alwag; Atkore acquires Cascade Poly Pipe and Northwest Polymers

Austrian packaging firm Greiner Packaging says it is boosting its sustainability efforts through the purchase of PET flake producer Alwag. It also marks the company's first foray into the business of recycling. It also now has three locations in Serbia: one recycling company and two manufacturing bases. Terms were not disclosed. 

One of Greiner Packaging’s objectives is to maximise the use of recycled material when manufacturing its products.

Alwag currently supplies its material to customers throughout Europe. Following consultations with these valued partners and a planned expansion of recycling capacity at the site, the flakes will gradually become available for Greiner Packaging’s applications and will be incorporated into its packaging solutions. This means that existing Alwag customers will continue to benefit from a reliable supply of their usual quantities of recycled material.

Greiner Packaging adds that to incorporate recycled PET into packaging, the PET flakes are extruded and then thermoformed. In the future, injection moulding applications will also be considered.

Going forward, Greiner Packaging says it will broaden its offering through vertical integration and the in-depth knowledge it is obtaining in the recycling sector. The company also intends to continue initiatives to increase the use of rPP and rPS, with the aim of providing sustainable material solutions that are tailored to the customer.

“PET is currently the only mechanically recycled material that can be used for food applications. We are strong believers in the potential of PET and, by expanding our expertise, we are actively committed to using this material effectively. As we work toward our sustainability goals, which we pursue consistently through all the business decisions we make, we naturally pay special attention to the possible creation of other r-PET streams in addition to the bottle-to-bottle stream. That would mean that an old PET cup could become a new PET cup in the future,” explains Manfred Stanek, CEO of Greiner Packaging.

“The recycling of PET packaging and bottles is a project we began ten years ago as pioneers in Serbia. It has always been our ultimate goal to produce an end product made entirely of recycled PET material that can then be converted. This new Alwag product is now no longer being developed by us, but by new owners whom we have carefully selected and have full confidence in. We are convinced that our vision will be successfully pursued thanks to the new owners, their commitment to the Nova Gajdobra site, and the additional investments in downstream technological processes. This step makes sense for everyone involved and will take the company’s success to even greater heights in the future,” comments Stojan Dangubić, former director of Alwag and executive director of Aling-Conel.

Last year, Greiner Packaging collaborated with PET-MAN and Starlinger Viscotec to offer milk packaged in cups made entirely from rPET in Upper Austria. Other recent innovations from the company include its thermoformed IML solution for cups, offering a recyclable mono-material PP pack that is allegedly lighter weight and suitable for a range of decorative effects.

Meanwhile, in other news, US infrastructure solutions provider Atkore has made two acquisitions of separate but related Oregon-based companies doing business as Cascade Poly Pipe & Conduit and Northwest Polymers. Cascade is a manufacturer specialising in smooth wall HDPE conduit made from recycled materials, primarily serving the telecommunications, utility and datacom markets; and Northwest Polymers is a recycler of PVC, HDPE and other plastics and a strategic supply partner to Cascade and other manufacturers in the region.

With the addition of Cascade and Northwest Polymers, the company now has deployed more than US$310 million to complete six acquisitions in fiscal year 2022.

According to John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business, “The acquisition of Cascade strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, establishes a HDPE conduit manufacturing presence in the Pacific Northwest to better serve customers, and enables us to meet growing demands resulting from the expansion of 5G wireless networks and the US infrastructure bill funding supporting broadband to rural and underserved communities. Equally important, the acquisition of Northwest Polymers supports Atkore’s environment, social and governance commitment to address sustainability throughout the supply chain.”

Bill Waltz, Atkore President/CEO, noted, “Atkore remains diligent in executing upon our capital allocation strategy to drive value creation for our shareholders through organic investments, M&A and stock repurchases. The acquisitions of Cascade and Northwest Polymers align to this strategy and enable Atkore to continue delivering differentiated and sustainable solutions for our customers.”

With approximately 30 employees, Cascade will continue operations at its Woodburn, Oregon location, and with approximately 80 employees, Northwest Polymers will continue operations at its Molalla, Oregon, location. Terms of the sale are undisclosed.


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