Graham Packaging bids for machine maker Techne

Graham Packaging bids for…
The plastic bottle blowmolding giant is adding to its presence in the machine manufacturing market with its decision to purchase Techne, an Italian manufacturer of extrusion blowmolding machinery.

The extrusion blowmolding machinery manufacturers' space has been a tough one for years and Techne was not spared; it has been operating under liquidation proceedings since last year.

Graham Packaging used to manufacture its own rotary wheel extrusion blow molding machinery but divested that business many years ago; that business continues to operate as Graham Engineering Corp, and like Graham Packaging also is based in York, PA. The deal for Techne was announced little more than a week after packaging processor Silgan announced that it had agreed to purchase Graham Packaging.

The actual purchase of Techne is being conducted by Graham subsidiary, Graham Packaging Company Italia S.r.l., which will pay €8.8 million for Techne (Bologna, Italy). Graham Packaging intends to acquire intellectual property, inventory, fixed assets, customer relationships, and trade agreements, and says it will continue to operate Techne's manufacturing site in Bologna.

Techne has an installed customer base of over 1000 machines with over 200 customers around the world. Techne's machines are used to blowmold bottles for applications in the dairy, household, industrial, personal care, pharmaceutical, food, and beverage markets.

Techne is under liquidation proceedings with the Court of Bologna, Italy. Graham's intention to purchase the assets of Techne is subject to the approval by Techne's creditors of the composition plan filed by Techne and its subsequent ratification by the Court of Bologna and is subject to other customary conditions as well.

"Techne's assets significantly expand our proprietary machine technology and allow us to continue to drive innovation and cost effectiveness with our customers," said Mark Burgess, CEO of Graham, in a company press release. "Their installed base of over 1000 machines gives us additional opportunities to expand our activity in international markets and other market adjacencies."

During the Plastindia trade show in 2009, Lohia Starlinger Ltd., the world leader in manufacturer of lines for woven plastic packaging, tape stretching, film coating and other extrusion-related applications, announced that it would take over manufacture two types of shuttle blowmolding machines then manufactured by Techne.