Consumers still seem to like those polystyrene foam trays for meat, poultry and seafood. And for the time being, they aren't going to be replaced with any new-fangled substrate, at least where Atlas Holdings and its new Novipax foam tray company are concerned.
Atlas' buyout of Sealed Air Corp.'s North American foam tray and absorbent pads business at the start of this month created Novipax, a portfolio operating company of Atlas Holdings LLC. The sale included Sealed Air’s manufacturing locations in Paxinos and Reading, Pa., Indianapolis, Rockingham, N.C. and Grenada, Miss. In 2014, the Sealed Air business, which serves food processors, supermarkets and food packaging distributors, generated approximately $214 million in sales to its Food Care division.
“As we increase our focus on innovation and differentiation in the flexible packaging industry, the decision to divest trays and pads aligns with our overall strategy," said Jerome A. Peribere, Sealed Air's president and CEO. "We are confident NOVIPAX is the right strategic buyer to further expand and grow this business."
Bob Larson was named CEO of Novipax, which is based in Chicago, and has 760 employees. “I am confident that we’re well positioned to grow and create real long-term value in the months and years to come,” Larson said. Larson most recently was the president of the North America Food and Consumer Packaging Division of Coveris, the sixth largest plastic packaging company in the world. The foam tray business pares well with Atlas' far-reaching consumer packaging experience. Larson will work closely with Don Eldert, who joins the team as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Eldert was formerly the executive vice president and chief financial officer at AGI-Shorewood Global, another Atlas business focused on specialty printing and packaging. NOVIPAX will also be reinforced by a board of directors led by Ron Leach, former CEO of Tegrant Corp.
As a result of the purchase, Atlas said NOVIPAX becomes the leading producer of absorbent pads and among the top manufacturers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam trays in the U.S.