Rohrer to close Pennsylvania plant

8 August 2016

Rohrer Corp. will close the Lewistown, Pa., thermoforming plant it acquired in 2012.

Rohrer filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification that states it will close the operation no later than Dec. 31. About 55 workers will lose their jobs beginning Oct. 14, according to the notice signed by Rohrer Chief Financial Officer Robert Stopar.

Rohrer got the Lewistown operation in early 2012 when it bought Buckell Plastic Co. Inc. to raise its profile in the visual packaging market. At that time the Buckell business had annual sales of about $3.5 million in medical, food, retail and other markets. The purchase was the first deal that Wadsworth, Ohio-based Rohrer made after private equity ShoreView Industries purchased Rohrer in late 2009.

More recently, Rohrer bought CardPak Inc., a thermoformer in Solon, Ohio. The deal, announced July 18, gave Rohrer thermoforming operations in Solon and in Aurora, Ohio.

Separately, Fidus Investment Corp. of Evanston, Ill., reported that it invested $17.3 million in subordinated notes and common equity of Rohrer, also on July 18. Fidus reported the deal as a subsequent event when it reported its second quarter financial results.

Officials with Rohrer and ShoreView were not available to comment on any relation between the CardPak purchase and the Fidus funds infusion, or whether the deals were related to the Lewiston closure. A Fidus spokeswoman declined to comment.

Rohrer had estimated North American thermoforming sales of $29 million last year according to Plastics News data. Its other thermoforming plants are in Buford, Ga.; Huntley, Ill.; and Wadsworth. Rohrer claims it is the biggest producer of skin and blister packaging and the largest supplier of visual carded packaging in the United States. It also runs a packaging printing operation in Mesa, Ariz. It bought that business in 2012 to give it a physical presence in western United States. The Mesa factory was formerly called Hogue Printing Solutions.

Fidus reported total investment income of $13 million for the quarter ended June 30. On that date it held debt and equity in 53 portfolio companies with an aggregate value of $452.7 million.

Rohrer was founded in 1973 by the Rohrer family.


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