In a sea of options, Anchor Glass Container anchors its business on manufacturing sustainable, safe, attractive glass packaging. One the leading glass container-makers in the US -- it ranks behind Owens-Illinois and Saint-Gobain Containers, Anchor Glass Container serves primarily manufacturers of beverages, beer and liquor, and foods and other consumer goods. It produces clear and colored-glass containers in a myriad of sizes via eight glassmaking plants and one for making moulds. For years the company's largest customer has included beer giant Anheuser-Busch. Anchor Glass Container's lineup also caters to Snapple, LiDestri Foods, and High Falls Brewing. The company is controlled by Wayzata Investment Partners.
Anchor Glass Container's performance is impacted by both the encroachment of competitors on its highly prized contracts with Anheuser-Busch and other beverage titans, as well as the pressure to reduce its container prices. The company locates its plants within 150 miles of its core customers in an effort to minimize transportation costs and delivery times, as well as secure long-term manufacturing contracts. Revenues also depend upon the strength of its distributors, Berlin Packaging, TricorBraun, and others.
Simultaneously, Anchor Glass aims to benefit from its customers' need to distinguish their products on the retail shelf. Its New Product Development Group provides decorative packaging services, such as labeling, embossing, and coatings. Anchor Glass custom designs include packaging for Polar Ice (beverages), General Mills (salsa), and ConAgra (preserves).
Proximity coupled with service, however, has not completely mitigated the risk of losing a customer. In 2009 Anchor Glass signaled that it had yet to win an agreement for extending a supply contract with Anheuser-Busch. The loss threatened to impact employees at two plants. Amid the potential downsizing, James Fredlake, former EVP and CFO, took the helm as company CEO and president.
Anchor Glass has gone through the revolving door of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, three times since 1996. It last sought bankruptcy protection in 2005; operations were sustained by $215 million in financing from Credit Suisse. Anchor Glass re-emerged in 2006 as a private company controlled by Cargill spinoff Wayzata Investment. Pitching in again in 2008, Credit Suisse opened a $350 million first-lien term loan for the company, enabling the glass container maker to offer a dividend to its investors and refinance its debt. Wayzata Investment in fall 2010 put Anchor Glass up for sale; proceeds are anticipated to garner up to $1 billion. The move comes as Anchor Glass celebrates its 110 anniversary. – minder