Newsletter

Mason Wells Newsletter 2016 - Volume 3

In This Issue:
• Mason Wells Announces the Sale of Mullinix Packages, Inc.  
• Nelipak Corporation Acquires Medical Thermoformer Company
• Whitehall Specialties, Inc. Acquires Assets of Former Castle Cheese Plant
• Jay Radtke featured in Plastics News
• United Sugars Selects A&R Logistics, Inc. as Dedicated Carrier
• Mason Wells Hires New Associate

 

Mason Wells Announces the Sale of Mullinix Packages, Inc.

Mason Wells recently announced the sale of Mullinix Packages, Inc. to Sabert Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of innovative food packaging products and solutions.

Mullinix, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, extrudes and thermoforms food packaging products using a wide array of plastic materials.  The Company is a leading player in the solid case-ready meat tray market, providing over 200 customers with innovative packaging solutions and advanced technology in barrier packaging for extending shelf life.  The Company offers a mix of custom and stock products to the food service and food processor markets including hinged containers, deli containers, microwavable/ovenable trays, drink cups, and sleeved cups. 

“We are very proud of the success Mullinix has achieved during our 5 years of ownership,” said Tom Smith, Executive Managing Director at Mason Wells.  “During that time, we made a substantial investment in equipment and technology that enabled the Company to achieve volume growth of over 50% and substantial margin gains under the leadership of an incredibly talented management team.  We are pleased to know the Company and team will continue to thrive as part of Sabert Corporation, which shares our philosophy of profitable growth through innovation and investment.” 

“Mason Wells was the perfect partner for Mullinix over the last 5 years as the business transitioned from a family-ownership culture while pursuing a growth strategy,” said Gene Gentili, CEO of Mullinix.  “With Mason Wells support, guidance, and access to resources, we were able to successfully execute on our strategic objectives.  We believe the combination with Sabert at this point in our evolution will allow us to offer an even wider breadth of exciting packaging solutions for current and future customers.”

For more information, please visit our website at www.masonwells.com/news

 

Nelipak Corporation Acquires Medical Thermoformer

Nelipak Corporation, a global leader in the healthcare thermoformed packaging industry, announced the acquisition of Tegrant Alloyd Brands of Puerto Rico, Inc. (“TABPR”), a subsidiary of Sonoco Products Company on July 6, 2016.  TABPR is a medical thermoforming company based in Juncos, Puerto Rico.  The business will be owned by Nelipak, a Mason Wells Fund III portfolio company, and will operate under the name of Nelipak® Healthcare Packaging.  

TABPR is a manufacturer of thermoformed rigid packaging for primarily healthcare customers in Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic.  The Company’s packaging products include trays, clamshells, and blisters.  Under the Nelipak® Healthcare Packaging brand, TABPR will further develop its thermoformed packaging products and service capabilities for the healthcare market. 

This acquisition strengthens Nelipak’s commitment to the North American healthcare market and will allow Nelipak to take advantage of growth opportunities in Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, and the broader Caribbean region.  TABPR’s customers will have access to Nelipak’s award winning design teams and modern cleanroom manufacturing throughout its global locations.

This is the second strategic acquisition completed by Nelipak under Mason Well’s ownership.  For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.nelipak.com

 

Whitehall Specialties, Inc. Acquires Assets of Former Castle Cheese Plant

Whitehall Specialties, a leader in the custom non-standardized and processed cheese category, acquired the assets of the former Castle Cheese manufacturing facility in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. 

Whitehall is a Mason Wells Fund III portfolio company.  This acquisition represents Whitehall’s fourth processed cheese manufacturing facility.  The Company’s original plant, located in Whitehall, Wisconsin specializes in block, shredded, diced, dried, and grated applications.  A second plant in Whitehall, Wisconsin specializes in individually wrapped slices, slice on slice, loaves, and Ricotta.

A third plant, located in Hillsboro, Wisconsin is where some of Whitehall’s unique innovations are produced, such as cream cheese, alfredo sauce base, dry blends, and the Company’s Parmesan line.

The Slippery Rock facility is expected to be operational this fall, and will provide additional capacity as the Company meets the growing demands of its customer base, both domestically and internationally.

The plant location in Pennsylvania will also make servicing East Coast customers faster and more efficient, while also freeing up additional capacity in the Company’s three Wisconsin facilities, allowing Whitehall to continue to deliver a superior customer service experience for all of its customers. 

To learn more about the acquisition, please visit the Company’s website at www.whitehall-specialties.com

 

Jay Radtke featured in Plastics News

Earlier this year, Jay Radtke, a Managing Director at Mason Wells, was a key speaker at the Global Pouch Forum in Miami, Florida.  Mr. Radtke heads up the firm’s Packaging Materials and Converting sector, one of the four Industry Sectors of Mason Wells.

“You look at the market share of the rigid plastic and flexible packaging converters, there’s slight consolidation.  But it’s still very fragmented,” stated Mr. Radtke. 

“On the flexible side, the top three converters only make up about a third of the market.  And after that, the largest player is only at 3 percent market share,” he said.  “It’s the same case on the rigid plastic packaging side where the top four players make up about a third of the market.  The next largest player has 5 percent of the market.  The top 10 suppliers account for about 50 percent of North American converted flexible packaging sales, leaving the other half of the market quite fragmented.  On the rigid side, the top 10 account for about 55 percent,” said Mr. Radtke. 

That’s part of the reason why Mr. Radtke believes those businesses will truly never consolidate into the hands of a few players. 

And while plastic packaging companies continue to be bought and sold, there also is a stream of people jumping back into the market to create new firms due to the attractiveness of the business.

“There’s always going to be new entrants coming in, and I think that’s healthy for any industry.  Keeps people on their toes.  Requires people to innovate and to invest.  I don’t think it’s a negative point at all,” Mr. Radtke said. 

To read the entire article, please visit www.plasticsnews.com.

 

United Sugars Selects A&R Logistics, Inc. as Dedicated Carrier

A&R Logistics, Inc., a Mason Wells Fund III portfolio company, recently announced in July that it was selected by United Sugars Corporation as the dedicated carrier for its new sugar-transfer facility in Montgomery, Illinois.

The $40 million facility, called the United Sugars Sugar Dome, will commence operation in late 2016.  With 50,000 square feet of space, it will be the largest single sugar-transfer facility in the United States.  After a comprehensive review, which included several established leaders in food transport, United Sugars chose A&R as its single transport solution. 

“They made a compelling case,” said Matt Wineinger, President of United Sugars.  “A&R works for some of the largest and most demanding manufacturers in North America, continually meeting exceptionally high standards for service, safety, purity, and on-time delivery.  That’s precisely what we need and what our customers deserve.”

A&R will have a completely dedicated fleet of tractors and pneumatic trailers for United Sugars.  Unlike many carriers, A&R also operates a logistics network that includes 800 trucks, 1,700 rail spots, 23 terminals, and 1.7 million square feet of warehousing space.  “Because of our deep experience in logistics, we understand the importance of integration and have the expertise to make the process seamlessly and uniquely efficient,” said A&R President, Richard Mitchell.

“We’re expanding and diversifying,” said Mark Holden, A&R CEO.  “Having a completely dedicated fleet allows us to grow without compromising the service we provide to our existing customers.”

The new fleet will feature the latest tracking technology, providing United Sugars customers with real-time shipment status updates via text or email, a major selling point.

For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.ardoingitright.com

 

Mason Wells Hires New Associate

Chris Lau recently joined Mason Wells as an Associate.  Prior to joining Mason Wells, Mr. Lau was an Investment Banking Analyst at Robert W. Baird’s Milwaukee office, where he focused on middle market M&A advisory engagements.  Prior to Robert W. Baird, Mr. Lau was an Associate at Ernst & Young's New York office, where he worked on audit and advisory engagements.  Mr. Lau received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and a M.S. in Accounting from Boston College.  Mr. Lau earned his Certified Public Accountant designation in 2014.  At Mason Wells, Mr. Lau is primarily responsible for supporting the funds’ investment activities, including financial modeling, investment analysis, market research, due diligence support, and the monitoring of portfolio companies. 

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