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Altria to acquire Green Smoke

BY Ryan Chavis

RICHMOND, Va. — Altria Group on Monday announced that its subsidiary, Nu Mark, agreed to acquire e-vapor business Green Smoke and its affiliates for approximately $110 million in cash and up to $20 million in incentive payments.

“Nu Mark’s entry into the e-vapor category with its MarkTen product was an important development in Altria’s innovation strategy. Adding Green Smoke’s significant e-vapor expertise and experience, along with its supply chain, product lines and customer service, will complement Nu Mark’s capabilities and enhance its competitive position,” Marty Barrington, Altria’s Chairman and CEO, said. “Further, Green Smoke’s culture of innovation and history of producing high-quality products is consistent with Altria’s culture.”

Green Smoke was founded in 2008 and has operations in the United States and Israel. The company has sold e-vapor products since 2009. Its product lines, sold under the Green Smoke e-vapor brand, include both rechargeable and disposable versions.  

“We are very pleased to be joining the Altria family of companies,” said Robert Levitz, Green Smoke’s CEO. “We are dedicated to innovation and believe joining Nu Mark will help us deepen that expertise and create new opportunities for our customers, our employees and our products.”

 

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Menasha Packaging expands Folding Carton Group plant

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEENAH, Wis. — Menasha Packaging has expanded its Folding Carton Group facility in Neenah, Wis., which will mean greater efficiency and faster production, the company has announced.

The expansion added 26,500 square feet to the initial 109,000-square-foot facility, plus 59,000 square feet in warehouse space that includes a new shipping area and receiving area.

The additional space helped management maximize the plant’s layout and flow and further enhance efficiencies. Furthermore, the expansion allowed for the consolidation of equipment from Menasha Packaging’s Morrisville, N.C. folding carton facility, the company stated.

Folding Carton Group employees rearranged most of the plant’s existing machines – including a sheeter, trimmer, three die-cutters and three folder gluers – to make room for equipment relocated from Morrisville, which includes a printing press, die-cutter, folder gluer and other auxiliary equipment. They also enhanced plant equipment in order to increase productivity.

“During the expansion and improvement process, the Folding Carton Group team rebuilt and modified a printing press, which enhanced its efficiency and run speed by 20%,” Jim Synder, Menasha Packaging Folding Carton Group GM, said. “Additional equipment in the plant was also improved during this time, which will allow us to continue exceeding the expectations for our folding carton customers.”

In addition to Folding Carton Group’s improved operational efficiencies, the facility is in the process of adding employees, allowing it to operate a few more pieces of equipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week and add additional output.

Menasha Packaging’s Folding Carton Group serves various markets, including food, household and personal care.

 

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McKesson, Celesio deal brings the number of generic titans to three

BY Michael Johnsen

If you don’t succeed the first time, try, try again. That’s exactly what McKesson did when it announced that it reached an agreement with Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH to acquire its entire holding of Celesio shares. And in a separate and subsequent agreement, McKesson also picked up the Celesio convertible bonds from Elliott.

Nothing good is ever easy. "While the path to securing this acquisition was certainly not what we had originally expected, it would seem that the interested parties to this transaction continued to see the compelling strategic benefit of McKesson and Celesio uniting to form a global leader in health care services," John Hammergren, McKesson chairman, CEO and president, said of the deal. "I never lost sight of the value this transaction will bring to our customers, our supply chain partners, the employees of both organizations and our shareholders."

The deal catapults McKesson’s generic sourcing ability to the levels recently achieved by the CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health joint venture, and before that the Walgreens/Alliance Boots/AmerisourceBergen strategic partnerships.

Buying big in generics continues to be a big deal as these three juggernauts now have similar purchasing prowess. The McKesson-Celesio deal is expected to generate a combined generic purchasing power of between $9.5 billion and $11.5 billion, according to an analysis by FBR Capital Markets. A similar analysis of the respective purchasing power of CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health means their deal will create a combined purchasing power of between $9.5 billion and $11.5 billion. According to FBR, the Walgreens-Amerisource-Bergen-ABC Consortium has about $12 billion in combined generic purchasing power. 

But buying big won’t necessarily benefit everyone. According to a recent DSN analysis of the three deals (you can check it out in the February issue of DSN), margin compression might be one consequence of three generic sourcing powerhouses. "The better these wholesalers are able to buy, the more they will drive the average manufacturer price down. This makes it harder for independent pharmacy members to compete with the Big Three, and could have perverse market effects."

 

 

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