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Berry Plastics to close New York packaging plant in line with business restructure

By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 20-Jul-2016 at 16:43 GMT2016-07-20T16:43:41Z

Berry Plastics plans to streamline its business into three divisions.
Berry Plastics plans to streamline its business into three divisions.

Berry Plastics Group has announced it will close a consumer packaging manufacturing site in Dunkirk, New York, axing 50 jobs.

The Dunkirk facility blow molds products for the food and beverage industry among others, with the last manufacturing day expected to be in October, after which it plans to relocate its production to facilities in Indiana, Iowa and Maryland.

Three business divisions

Berry Plastics Group, which is based in Evansville, Indiana, has informed the New York State Department of Labor redundancies will occur between now and the end of October and it will work to help affected employees find positions either in Dunkirk or at other Berry Plastics locations.

Production from the company’s Dunkirk facility will be relocated to its existing facilities in Princeton, Indiana; Quad Cities, Iowa; and Hanover, Maryland,” the firm said in a statement.

The decision to close the facility is in support of the company’s efforts to best meet customer needs, while streamlining operations and increasing capacity utilization.”

The announcement is in line with the company’s decision to streamline its business structure into three divisions; Health, Hygiene, and Specialties; Consumer Packaging; and Engineered Materials.

I am extremely excited about the transformation taking place at Berry Plastics. The organization streamlines the company while aligning our businesses closely with the markets that we serve,” said Jon Rich, CEO, Berry Plastics.

I am confident this structure will allow us to best integrate the newly acquired Avintiv business into Berry Plastics and accelerate the strategic growth of the company, while strengthening the service we provide to our customers and the value we create for our shareholders.”

Avintiv acquisition

Berry Plastics completed its acquisition of Avintiv, which makes materials used in products ranging from diapers to disinfectant wipes, in October last year.

The business structure will be led by Berry Plastics and Avintiv. The divisions and leaders in the restructure are:

The Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division will consist of the newly acquired Avintiv business and Berry Plastics’ flexible packaging personal care and medical product lines that were previously part of the company’s Flexible Packaging Division. The Health, Hygiene and Specialties Division will be led by Scott Tracey, currently Avintiv’s North America president. Tracey joined PGI (Avintiv was formerly known as PGI Specialty Materials) in 2004 and served as the firm’s Europe/Mideast/Africa president from 2012-2014.

The Consumer Packaging Division combines Berry Plastics’ Rigid Open Top and Rigid Closed Top divisions, the flexible packaging food and consumer product lines that were formerly part of the company’s Flexible Packaging Division, and the shrink film product lines that were formerly part of Berry Plastics’ Engineered Materials Division. Tom Salmon, currently president of the Rigid Closed Top Division, will now lead the Consumer Packaging Division. Salmon joined Covalence, a predecessor company of Berry, in 2006 and served as president of Berry Plastics’ Engineered Materials Division from 2006-2014.

Third quarter fiscal 2016 results

The Engineered Materials Division combines Berry Plastics’ Engineered Materials Division and its Flexible Packaging converter product line, except for the shrink film products that are moving to Consumer Packaging. Curt Begle will continue in his role as president of Engineered Materials. Begle began his career with Berry Plastics in 1999 and served as president of the company’s Rigid Closed Top Division from 2009-2014.

With the announcement of Berry Plastics’ business structure, current Avintiv president and CEO, Joel Hackney has chosen to step down.

Berry Plastics employs more than 16,500 employees worldwide and generated a net income of $86m on sales of $6.7bn in its 2015 fiscal year. It will report its third quarter fiscal 2016 results on August 9, 2016.

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