Willowbrook packaging company Impak Corp. has boxed up one of its distributors in a deal designed to give Impak better access to high-tech sealing equipment.
Impak acquired Commerce-based Gramatech, which manufactures sealing equipment, in July for an undisclosed amount.
Gaining access to a greater variety of sealing equipment will allow Impak to expand packaging offerings to its clients in industries including biomedical, aerospace and food, said Kevin Cullen, company founder and chief executive.
“Gramatech was essential for our expansion as it was our largest distributor,” Cullen said. “With this deal we will add their high-tech machinery as well as take over their client base.”
Privately held Impak is expected to add three to five employees to its payroll of 40. There are no expansion plans yet for its 35,000-square-foot facility.
The company makes desiccants, which are drying agents such as silica gel used in prepackaged foods and other products. It also makes customized packaging and sealer machines as well as oxygen absorbers for use with food and mechanical components that must be kept in an airtight and low-oxygen environment.
“We serve the same industry, but right away with the acquisition, Impak will have many more customers in place ready to do business,” said Rajib Hasan, Impak’s controller.
Gramatech was a division of Commerce-based Seco Industries and solely manufactures sealing equipment, while Seco focuses on packaging. Seco has a 30,000-square-foot facility, of which Gramatech used a portion for its operations.
After the acquisition, Gramatech will no longer operate out of that location.
Seco did not return calls for comment.
Cullen, 60, founded Impak in 1993 and said the company’s revenue for fiscal year 2016 was around $13 million. It has more than 6,000 customers in its database.
He said he started looking into acquiring Gramatech when East Coast competitor SenCorpWhite acquired San Marcos-based Accu-Seal, maker of sealing equipment, and formed Accu-Seal SenCorpWhite Inc. in the fall.
“Oh, no, I said,” Cullen recalled. “We were always a full-service packaging company, but I needed to have a company like Gramatech, which made machinery, in my portfolio to enhance what we offered.”
Gramatech will operate under the Impak name as a division of the company, but Gramatech.com will continue for recognition purposes, he said.
Also making moves on packaging companies at the midmarket level this year was Santa Monica-based investment firm Pritzker Group. Its private capital arm announced in April that a subsidiary, Cincinnati-based ProAmpac, had acquired Armonk, N.Y.-based Trinity Packaging Corp., makers of large-format packaging for the lawn and garden, food and specialty industrial markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
More packaging deals might be on the horizon for Impak. Cullen said he’s looking into buying smaller companies that are at least 10 percent of the market.
– Shwanika Narayan
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