Washington County box plant to be acquired

Paul Gough
Pittsburgh Business Times

A Washington County manufacturer is selling five of its facilities, including a plant in Coal Center.

WestRock Co. (NYSE: WRK) announced Wednesday it was acquiring five corrugated converting facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Louisiana from U.S. Corrugated Inc., a packaging company the company's website said was based in Washington, Pa. The purchase price is $192 million and the deal is expected to close in June 2017.

WestRock is one of the five largest companies in the corrugated box market with 275 facilities worldwide, according to a recent report by Technavio Insights.

U.S. Corrugated began in 2006 by Dennis Mehiel, the founder of Box USA, which in 2004 was acquired by International Paper. It makes corrugated products for industry, retail, pharmaceutical and other uses, according to its website.

U.S. Corrugated has a full-line corrugator plant at 400 Technology Drive in Coal Center, a small town along the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh and near California, Pa.

"WestRock will be acquiring the US Corrugated facility in Coal Center. We have no plans to make any changes at that facility, and look forward to having those employees join the WestRock team," a WestRock spokesman told the Pittsburgh Business Times on Wednesday.

WestRock said that it would not acquire U.S. Corrugated’s facilities in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Atlanta or Ashland, Ohio, nor its Kampack operations in Newark, N.J., nor U.S. Display Group operations in Tullahoma, Tenn.

A call to U.S. Corrugated wasn’t immediately returned.

WestRock said in the statement it had also reached a long-term contract “with a newly created company formed from the remaining assets of U.S. Corrugated.” Details about the newly created company weren’t immediately available.