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Sonoco to acquire Ill.-based packaging firm for $170M

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Illinois-based Clear Lam makes a range of packaging products that are used by providers of fruit, produce and other food items found in grocery stories. (Image/Provided)Sonoco today announced it’s acquiring Clear Lam Packaging, an Illinois-based developer and manufacturer of flexible and forming plastic packaging films for approximately $170 million in cash. The transaction, subject to usual regulatory review, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and CEO, said in a press release buying Clear Lam will further build on the Hartsville-based packaging company’s strategy of expanding its global Flexible Packaging and Thermoforming Plastics operations to serve the fast-growing grocery perimeter business.

Sanders added “we will be able to develop, produce and convert high barrier flexible and forming film structures to package fresh and prepared food products” that consumers buy in the perimeter sections of a food store like fruit and vegetables.

“As an example, Clear Lam complements our recent acquisition of Peninsula Packaging’s thermoforming operations by being able to produce barrier flexible film lidding that extends shelf life, is resealable and provides a complete packaging solution to our fresh fruit and vegetable customers,” Sanders said in a statement.

Founded in 1969, the Clear Lam expects 2017 sales to total $140 million. The company, which has about 400 employees, operates manufacturing facilities at its home base of Elk Grove Village, Ill., and Nanjing, China, with nearly 400 employees.

Clear Lam serves markets including condiments, dairy, meats and cheese, produce, confection, fresh and prepared foods, nuts and snacks, food service and personal care. Clear Lam also has developed new portion control condiment packaging, peel-reseal films for fresh fruits and vegetables, forming films for healthy yogurts, lidding films for fresh guacamole, special drinking pouch films and several new packaging films that expand shelf life, according to the press release.

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. It reported annual net sales of $4.8 billion and has 20,000 employees working at than 300 operations in 33 countries.

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