Berry said the acquisition not only shores up some gaps in its product range, but also increases its presence in the fast-growing pharmaceutical market for plastic packaging, as Kerr boasts a number of top-ranking pharma clients, including Pfizer, Merck & Co, Wyeth, Bayer and Abbott Laboratories.
Healthcare applications are expected to be one of the main drivers behind a 28 per cent growth in the volume of plastic resins used in packaging between now and 2009, according to market research published towards the end of last year.
Berry's chief executive, Ira Boots, said that Kerry adds "fill in the gaps of our closure product line while enhancing our product offering with vials, bottles and tubes." Kerr manufactures the Tab II range of child-resistant closures used on products such as Wyeth's Advil brand of ibuprofen.
Kerr's headquarters and technical center are based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and it operates eight domestic facilities supporting North American customers. Its product range spans injection, compression, blow and extrusion molded plastic packaging for pharmaceutical, nutritional, food, beverage and personal care markets.
"The combined closure business of Kerr and Berry will instantly create a leading franchise across all major closure categories," stated Joe Gleberman, Berry's chairman.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan acquired Berry in July 2002, and the company expanded its range via the acquisition of Landis Plastics in November 2003. The Kerr transaction is scheduled to close in the second quarter of 2005.