Cascades has signed an agreement with Brodrene Hartmann to sell all of its retail egg carton activities in Canada and the USA, allowing the Danish company to become the second largest supplier of moulded-fibre egg cartons in North America.
This agreement translates into Cascades selling all of the equipment, working capital and goodwill of its Brantford, Ontario plant as well as the goodwill of its unit located in Thorndike, Massachusetts.
After a transition period, the egg packaging production of the Brantford operation will be transferred to a new plant, also in Brantford, presently being established by Hartmann. This new plant will be equipped with machines from Hartmann Technology which the company claims will make it the most modern plant in North America with high efficiency and strong competitiveness.
Cascades' current employees of the Brantford plant will be transferred to the new operation over a period of two years in step with the starting up of production activities. Hartmann sees a clear advantage in being able to employ 110 experienced employees from the existing Brantford plant. By 2004, it is estimated that the Hartmann operations in Brantford will employ 200 people and produce over 400 million egg cartons per year. Hartmann's new plant will initially not add capacity to the North American market place.
The Thorndike tangible assets will remain under Cascades' ownership and their retail egg packaging production will be solely dedicated to Hartmann.
Commenting on the transaction and Hartmann's entry into the North American market, Mr. Eivind Rynning, president of Hartmann North America said : "We will construct a state-of-the-art facility in Brantford with all of Hartmann's latest technology. The plant will deliver a range of higher quality retail egg cartons than is presently offered in the North American market place.
Hartmann will service the market with products that have print and labels of high graphic quality and with a unique display function. On top of this, producers will be able to use a moulded-fibre carton that is environmentally friendly without sacrificing productivity in the egg operations..."