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RKT acquires displays converter; U.S. Corrugated buys LA corrugator firm

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RKT acquires displays converter; U.S. Corrugated buys LA corrugator firm

January 10, 2014 - 09:38

OAKLAND, Jan. 10, 2014 (PPI Pulp & Paper Week) -RockTenn (RKT) acquired independent merchandising displays converter NPG of Chattanooga, TN, that operates two plants focused on making store displays for retailers, and running on proprietary digital asset management technology.

"NPG's focus on retailers, their innovative relation solutions, and large-format printing capability expands our customer base and significantly improves RKT's ability to provide retail insights, innovation, and connectivity to all of our customers," said RockTenn Merchandising Displays Exec VP and general mgr Craig Gunckel.

NPG operates plants in Chattanooga and in Las Vegas.

RKT is the largest North American manufacturer of point-of-purchase (POP) displays.

The new unit will operate as RockTenn Retail Solutions with former NPG CEO Phil Harris serving as pres and general mgr.

NPG works with retailers and consumer products companies to design, create, and distribute in-store POP displays, and outdoor promotional and advertising materials, according to private equity firm and former owner Wingate Partners.

The acquisition will allow RockTenn "to leverage NPG's proprietary digital asset management technology across its platform," Wingate noted.

POP displays have been one of RockTenn's fastest growing businesses, the company has told investors. From $35 million when the company acquired its first display operation in 1995, revenues increased to $400 million prior to RockTenn's 2011 acquisition of Smurfit-Stone Container (SSCC) to $650 million as of early 2013.

U.S. Corrugated(USC) acquired Louisiana Corrugated Products (LCP), a corrugator plant in Monroe, LA, late last month. LCP employs 96 people at its 145,000 ft2plant, which operates an 87-in. corrugator. "The company has invested in flexible capabilities to produce both high quality corrugated for use with high-speed automated packaging machinery and premium graphics for shelf-ready consumer products," said Mesirow Financial, which said it advised Louisiana Corrugated for the deal. "The company's products primarily serve the food and beverage, health and beauty, consumer, building products and pharmaceutical market segments." The plant also provides an industrial mix of products for several markets, including folding cartons, glass bottles, and food processing. USC and its affiliates Kampack and U.S. Display Group now operate 10 facilities in the eastern US.

International Paperwill spend $12 million to increase efficiency and productivity at its St. Joseph, MO, corrugator plant, according to a local news report in Missouri. The company received a tax abatement on the new equipment and loan to train employees.

Carolina Containerlaunched a new division, CaroCon Display & Packaging, that combines its display and graphics packaging under one brand. It operates within the company's existing six production, design, and digital printing facilities.