The acquisition comprises both the container glass works in Millville, New Jersey, which specialises in pharmaceutical packaging with sales of around USD 55 million, and its 45.7% share in the Chinese specialty glass manufacturer Beijing Wheaton.The purchase "marks a quantum leap on the way to establishing our Group as a leading worldwide supplier of pharmaceutical packaging," says Dr. Axel Herberg, CEO and President of the Gerresheimer Group.
Glass Group Inc., a past competitor in the pharmaceutical glassware business in the USA, was forced to file for protection under Chapter 11 U.S. Bankruptcy Code at the end of February this year and thus became available for purchase. The price paid for the assets now acquired totalled around USD 20 million. Closing of the deal is expected in the coming week.
Through the acquisition Gerresheimer has expanded its already existing leadership position in wide areas of the USA market to cover the entire pharmaceutical glassware spectrum. In the past the Group had a strong lead in the field of tubular glass and pharmaceutical packaging produced from it, while in the field of container glass for pharmaceutics the Gerresheimer Group was in the past represented in the American market by only one plant. The plant in Millville now also makes the Group the leader in the USA for pharmaceutical container glass. Because of its high quality requirements, pharmaceutical glassware is generally regarded as a high-profile and particularly attractive market segment.
The new Millville plant has three furnaces, with 350 employees producing for example the highly specialised type I borosilicate glass which is processed to manufacture high-quality pharmaceutical packaging. In addition to Millville, Gerresheimer currently has five production plants in its American subsidiary Kimble Inc. plus a plant in Mexico.
The acquisition of shares in Beijing Wheaton in China is also of strategic importance for Gerresheimer. The investment offers "an excellent starting base to establish a foothold in the Asian market and rise to become an important player in the region," says Herberg.
Gerresheimer is one of the leading international manufacturers of high-quality packaging based on glass and plastic, particularly for the segments of pharmaceutics and cosmetics. The Group employs 5,100 people in 17 production plants in Europe and the USA and achieves sales of around EUR 560 million (pre-acquisition).