The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Business & Technology

May 29, 2013

Company headquarters moving back to Clinton

CLINTON — Clinton will once again be the company headquarters of one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of premium polyolefin shrink films, company officials announced today.

Cove Point Holdings, a privately held company, announced this afternoon that its affiliate had purchased the Clysar division of Bemis Co., and that Clysar, as the company will be known, will consolidate all its operations and move its headquarters from Oshkosh, Wis., to Clinton, where its extrusion and converting campus, and the majority of its 300-plus employees are located.

The terms of the agreement between Cove Point and Bemis were not disclosed.

The company’s new owners plan to strongly invest in Clysar’s shrink film operation to enhance and grow the company’s market and competitive position.

“Our capable, dedicated Clinton workforce has played a pivotal role in our first half-century of growth,” said William Hare, general manager of Clysar. “This is an opportunity for Clysar to centralize our leadership, technology, development and manufacturing to make us an even stronger force in the shrink film market.”

The acquisition is expected to have a highly favorable impact on the Clysar business and the Clinton community, company officials said.

“Our philosophy is to acquire stable, American-based companies with excellent growth potential, and then invest in value-creation strategies that help them flourish,” said William C. Morris, owner of New York City-based Cove Point. “We are committed to enhancing our operations in Clinton and to growing the Clysar business. This is an exciting time for the Clysar family.”

Clysar's polyolefin shrink film has been made in Clinton since 1963. Originally a division of DuPont, the company started when DuPont began making polyolefin shrink film in its Clinton cellophane manufacturing facilities. At the time, DuPont’s cellophane plant was the world’s largest, employing more than 1,400 people. As demand for shrink film grew, DuPont shifted production in the Clinton facility from cellophane to shrink film and, by 1985, converted the plant solely to shrink film production.

From 1985 through 2002, Clysar continued to expand its film technologies, quality systems, capabilities and global reach under the leadership of DuPont. The company’s extrusion and finishing lines were expanded seven times during that period and a facility was acquired in LeTrait, France, to better serve a global marketplace. In 2002, Clysar was acquired by Bemis Company, Inc., the largest flexible packaging company in North America. The purchase included all elements of the Clysar shrink film business, including research and development, sales, marketing and manufacturing at Clinton, and LeTrait, France. Clysar had 300 employees at the time, some of whom moved to the new company headquarters in Oshkosh with the purchase.

Bemis supported Clysar’s continued development of innovative film technologies, investing more than $50 million dollars to optimize Clysar’s proven core film manufacturing platform in Clinton. Backed by Bemis, Clysar’s product offering expanded to include tough films engineered to replace corrugate; pliable films able to wrap any product shape; and thin films designed to drive packaging source reduction. In the late 2000s, Bemis sold off the LeTrait, France, facility and focused production in Clinton.

Today Clysar is a market leader in the shrink film industry. It recently became a stand-alone, independent company when it was purchased by an affiliate of Cove Point Holdings, LLC. With the Cove Point ownership, Clysar will once again centralize all functions in Clinton in order to strengthen its go-to-market position.

Clysar films are sold through two-step distribution and are used strictly in non-barrier applications. The divestiture allows Bemis to focus on its direct sales model and value-added flexible packaging businesses. Clysar manufactures high-performance polyolefin films for a wide variety of packaging applications including meat, poultry, produce, bakery, pizza, office supplies, hardware and consumer products.

Clysar management is enthusiastic about the new ownership.

“Mr. William Morris and Cove Point have an excellent record of investing in businesses like ours, with highly successful long-term outcomes,” said Hare. “They are flexible, nimble and eager to leverage our competencies in the shrink film business, which will help Clysar further support our customers’ needs.”

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