MWV closes two factories and reduces secondary packaging production

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Economics

Marking a move away from secondary packaging, MeadWestvaco (MWV) is closing two factories in Virginia and Puerto Rico with the loss of 278 jobs.

The closures are part of a cost reduction program announced in January that involves the shutting down of 12 to 14 factories and the loss of 2,000 jobs.

The two latest factories to be closed, in Louisa, Virginia, and Caguas, Puerto Rico, convert visual and paperboard packaging for the personal care and pharmaceutical markets.

Cutting secondary packaging portfolio

MWV is reducing its product portfolio in this area although the company plans to continue to manufacture products such as Insight Visual Packaging where patents provide it with a comparative advantage.

Production for this remaining element will be shifted to Melrose Park, Illinois, for personal care applications and Mebane, North Carolina, for healthcare.

Strengthening involvement in primary packaging

While the company is reducing its involvement in visual and paperboard packaging it is strengthening its presence in other areas that offer more growth opportunities. In both personal care and healthcare, MWV plans to strengthen its primary packaging portfolio.

“The alignment of our resources into more profitable markets will enable us to improve performance and better support the development of differentiated solutions,” ​said​Jim Buzzard, president of MWV.

Thomas Jonas, who took the helm at the newly created Personal and Beauty Care division in December, recently spoke to about MWV’s plans in the personal care market.

Jonas said the company was optimistic about the future despite the depressed economy and may even find acquisition opportunities in the economic gloom.

He said: “We remain confident that there are profitable growth opportunities for us in personal care and beauty.

“During this economic period we may also find timely opportunities to grow our business through acquisitions. In that case we will evaluate those carefully, considering the short-term impact as well as the long-term value of such an opportunity.”

Related topics Packaging & Design

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