An Elkhart-based manufacturer of cardboard boxes already working to expand its operations in Elkhart is expanding elsewhere through a merger with another box-maker.
In a deal announced Tuesday, July 7, Welch Packaging Group is merging with American Corrugated Products, a Columbus, Ohio-based company that specializes in packaging for the automotive industry.
“American Corrugated Products has a mix of custom packaging solutions built on strong design capabilities which fits the Welch model like a glove,” Welch founder and CEO Scott Welch said in a statement. “This expands the talent, design and niche products that we can bring to our customer while broadening our automotive industry expertise. American Corrugated Products customers will greatly benefit from Welch’s geographic coverage and product capabilities.”
Combined, the companies have 900 employees across six states.
Welch Packaging was founded in Elkhart in 1985 and has facilities in Elkhart, Marion, Indianapolis, Chicago, and three Ohio plants in Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo.
American Corrugated has plants in Jackson, Mich.; Evansville; Morehead, Ky.; Columbia, Tenn., and Dyersburg, Tenn.
A statement from Welch Packaging did not specify how or if the companies’ leadership would be consolidated or how the merger might impact the people currently working at the companies. Calls and emails to a Welch company spokesperson for comment were not returned Tuesday afternoon.
Welch Packaging has grown significantly in the last few years through the acquisition of other box-making companies.
In May 2014, it acquired Go Packaging LLC in Lombard, Ill., and in March 2014 it bought Marion-based Indiana Corrugated. In November 2013, officials announced the acquisition of Nova Packaging, also in Marion.
ELKHART EXPANSION PLANNED
While this merger helps Welch extend its reach nationally, the company is also looking to expand in Elkhart.
In March, the company announced plans for a $16.54 million expansion expected to create 118 jobs.
The expansions would happen at its locations at 1020 Herman St. and 1130 Herman St., where it now has 203 employees.
The Elkhart Common Council on April 6 granted the company tax abatements for the project that will save Welch Packaging an estimated $870,032 over five years.