Berry Plastics has announced that it is planning a major expansion either in Evansville or in another location. This is in addition to all the expansions Berry Plastics has committed to in Evansville. As per Major Jonathan Weinzapfel “"We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy,"
We certainly hope Berry Plastics will decide in favor of Evansville.
Berry Plastics announces expansion
Berry Plastics announced Monday that it is planning a major expansion with operations to begin early next year, but it is undecided where among its North American operations it will be located.
The expansion would include an approximately $80 million investment in building and equipment in its first three years. It would create more than 150 jobs. Additional investments in the operation and employment would be made as business allows.
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel pledged to work to bring the expansion to Evansville.
"We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy," he said.
Randy Hobson, Berry's executive vice president for commercial development, said there was no deadline for making a site decision, but the project is on a fast track.
The company hopes to start operations at the new facility in the first quarter of 2010. Hobson said the expansion is being driven by the success of it thermoforming operations and the plastic items produced by it, such as drink cups and other containers. A portion of the new expansion will be dedicated to manufacturing drink cups.
Hobson said Evansville is a contender for the project.
"Based on history and the success we've had in partnership with our employees here, Evansville would certainly get consideration," he said.
Berry has 66 manufacturing facilities in the United States and other countries and nearly 14,000 employees.
Weinzapfel noted Berry already has made significant investments in the city.
"Over the past few years, the city has helped Berry invest more than $40 million dollars in our community and create nearly 300 new jobs with the upcoming expansion of Berry's global headquarters on Oakley Street and its new warehouse/distribution center at the Evansville Regional Airport. We hope to continue this collaboration with Berry by showing them that they will benefit the most by investing further in Evansville," he said.
In December, the City Council approved an ordinance to borrow up to $4.8 million, of which $3.8 million was to be given to Berry as an incentive grant to expand its corporate headquarters in Evansville. The rest of the bond was to be used to pay for bond expenses or to be placed in a reserve fund.
The bond debt will be paid off with taxes collected in the city's Downtown Tax Increment Financing District.
The announcement is the latest in an aggressive course of growth by Berry in recent years that includes both local expansions and the acquisition of other properties.
In November, Berry successfully bid on most of the assets of Erie Plastics, a Corry, Pa., company that had entered bankruptcy, and planned to move them to other locations around the country. The assets included equipment, inventory, real estate and intellectual property.
Other recent acquisitions for Berry included the December 2007 purchase of Captive Plastics Inc. in Piscataway, N.J., and the available stock of MAC Closures Inc., which had factories in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. In April 2007, Berry bought Rollpak Acquisition Corp., in Goshen, Ind.
Berry began as Imperial Plastics in 1967 in Evansville, changing its name to Berry Plastics in 1983.
In 2005, the company expanded its existing facilities and staff with a 170,000-square-foot addition to its Downtown facility and adding 64 jobs.
In June 2006, Berry was acquired by the private equity firms Apollo Management LP and Graham Partners, but with its management keeping 22 percent ownership of the company. The new corporation kept the company's existing facilities and management and promised to continue funding the company's growth.
Here is the text of Berry's press release:
Berry Plastics Corporation announced plans today for a major expansion of thermoforming operations to increase manufacturing capacity with targeted startup in the first quarter of 2010.
Berry’s expansion is being driven to add capacity which will support customers’ growing desire for plastic thermoformed products. A portion of the new expansion will be dedicated to manufacturing drink cups.
Berry is evaluating multiple project sites to determine the final location for the expansion. This expansion includes capital investment in building and equipment of approximately $80 million in the first three years and will create more than 150 new jobs.
Beyond the initial project phase, Berry’s plans include additional capital investment and employment at the selected site as additional capacity is required by the market.
Here is Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel's statement on it:
“Earlier today, Berry Plastics announced its plans for a new $80 million manufacturing expansion and the creation of at least new 150 jobs. We will do all that we can to ensure this new investment and job creation happens in Evansville. This is more great news from Berry Plastics and very welcome in this economy.” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “Berry Plastics and the City of Evansville have developed a great working relationship. Over the past few years, the City has helped Berry invest more than $40 million dollars in our community and create nearly 300 new jobs with the upcoming expansion of Berry’s global headquarters on Oakley Street and its new warehouse/distribution center at the Evansville Regional Airport. We hope to continue this collaboration with Berry by showing them that they will benefit the most by investing further in Evansville.”