Alcan sells glass container plants

Canadian aluminium maker Alcan, Inc. of Montreal plans to sell its glass container plant in Park Hills, Mo., and other glass container facilities to Glass Group Inc. for an undisclosed sum, it was rep…

Canadian aluminium maker Alcan, Inc. of Montreal plans to sell its glass container plant in Park Hills, Mo., and other glass container facilities to Glass Group Inc. for an undisclosed sum, it was reported in September. The sale, which was expected to close at the end of September, includes plants in New Jersey and Alcan“s 46% stake in a joint venture in Beijing. The Canadian company had announced last December that it wanted to sell its glass container business as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy. Alcan is pleased with the sale since the buyer, Glass Group, intends to keep the facilities in operation, where they make containers for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, said company spokeswoman Marie Berard. Newly created for this transaction, Glass Group includes some executives who previously had worked in Alcan“s glass container business, she added. About 500 people work at the Park Hills plant, which is known as Flat River Glass Co. Park Hills, which is about 70 miles south of St. Louis in St. Francois County, has a population of 7,861. Alcan“s decision to leave the glass container business reflects the hard times the industry has undergone during the last two decades, said C. Philip Ross, president of Glass Industry Consulting International of Laguna Niguel, California, US. The shift to alternative packaging, such as aluminium and plastic, has weakened demand for glass, he said. No glass container production facility has been built in the US since the last one was constructed at Pevely in 1981, Ross said. In fact, the number of US facilities has fallen to 55, from 129 in 1981, due to closures, he added.