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Company Profile of Bemis Manufacturing Company -
May 2nd, 2011
The Bemis Manufacturing Company is based in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin and is best known for its toilet seat products. Bemis also manufactures suction canisters, sharps containers, gas caps, gauges, fluid management systems, and various contracted plastic parts from extrusion and injection molding for companies such as John Deere and Whirlpool Corporation. The company is a pioneer of coinjection molding, a process in which virgin resin is injected with scrap plastic. Bemis' plastic work has won a number of awards in the SPI Structural Plastics Div. design competition, particularly with the John Deere 7000 tractor, which is believed to represent the first instance of coinjection molding "to large parts where a recycled engineering material (ABS) is used in the core".
Bemis Company, Inc. (Bemis), incorporated in 1885, is a manufacturer of flexible packaging products and pressure sensitive materials, selling to customers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It operates in two segments: Flexible Packaging and Pressure Sensitive Materials. The flexible packaging segment manufactures a range of packaging for food, consumer goods, and industrial applications. Multilayer flexible polymer film structures and laminates are sold for food, medical, and personal care products, as well as non-food applications utilizing vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging. The pressure sensitive materials segment manufactures pressure sensitive adhesive coated paper and film substrates sold into label, graphic, and technical markets. On March 1, 2010, Bemis acquired of the Food Americas operations of Alcan Packaging, a business unit of Rio Tinto plc.
During the year ended December 31, 2010, approximately 88% of the Company’s sales were derived from the Flexible Packaging segment and approximately 12% were derived from the Pressure Sensitive Materials segment. On July 13, 2010, the Company sold a portion of the discontinued operations of the Food Americas business to Exopack Holding Corp.
Flexible Packaging Business Segment
The flexible packaging business segment provides packaging to a variety of end markets, including applications for meat and cheese, confectionery and snack, frozen foods, lawn and garden, health and hygiene, beverages, healthcare, bakery, and dry foods. Additional products include blown and cast stretch film products, carton sealing tapes and application equipment, custom thermoformed and injection molded plastic packaging, multiwall paper bags, printed paper roll stock, and bag closing materials. Markets of its products include processed and fresh meat, liquids, frozen foods, cereals, snacks, cheese, coffee, condiments, candy, pet food, bakery, seed, lawn and garden, tissue, fresh produce, personal care and hygiene, disposable diapers, printed shrink overwrap for the food and beverage industry, agribusiness, pharmaceutical, minerals, and medical device packaging. This segment has 73 manufacturing plants located in 18 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and 11 non-United States countries, of which 62 are owned directly by the Company or its subsidiaries and 11 are leased from outside parties.
Pressure Sensitive Materials Business Segment
The pressure sensitive materials business segment offers adhesive products to three markets: prime and variable information labels, which include roll label stock used in a wide variety of label markets; graphic design, used to create signage and decorations; and technical components, which represent pressure sensitive components for industries, such as the electronics, automotive, construction and medical industries. Its products for the label market include narrow-web rolls of pressure sensitive paper, film, and metalized film printing stocks used in high-speed printing and die-cutting. Products for graphic markets include pressure sensitive films used for decorative signage through computer-aided plotters, digital and screen printers and photographic over laminate and mounting materials, including optically clear films with built-in UV inhibitors. Products for technical markets include micro-thin film adhesives used in delicate electronic parts assembly and pressure sensitive applications utilizing foam and tape based stocks to perform fastening and mounting functions. Paper and adhesive are the primary raw materials used in the pressure sensitive materials business segment. This segment has seven manufacturing plants located in three states and two non-United States countries, all of which are owned directly by the Company or its subsidiaries.
The Company competes with Amcor Limited, Berry Plastics Corporation, Bryce Corporation, Exopack Company, Hood Packaging Corporation, Printpack, Inc., Sealed Air Corporation, Sonoco Products Company, Wihuri OY, Winpak ltd., 3M, Acucote, Inc., Avery Dennison Corporation, FLEXcon Corporation, Green Bay Packaging Inc., Ricoh Company, Ltd., Ritrama Inc., Spinnaker Industries, Inc., Technicote Inc., UPM-Kymmene Corporation, and Wausau Coated Products Inc.
After its expansion into Minneapolis, Bemis established bag factories in Omaha (1887); New Orleans (1891); Superior, Wisconsin (1896); San Francisco (1897); Indianapolis (1900); Memphis (1900); Kansas City (1903); Seattle (1905); Houston (1906); and Winnipeg (1906). In addition, the company began operation in 1896 of a bleachery in Indianapolis for finished bag goods, and opened a cotton mill near Jackson, Tennessee, in 1900. The company-sponsored village that arose by the mill was eventually dubbed Bemis. This last development was designed to augment the production of the Home Cotton Mills, which had been established in 1870 as a separate corporation, incorporated in 1885, and taken over by Bemis in 1902.
Judson Moss Bemis's son, A. Farwell Bemis, assumed the presidency upon his father's retirement in 1909. In the foreword to Edgar's biography of his father, A. Farwell Bemis wrote that his father's "most remarkable quality of all was his progressiveness, the pioneering instinct. To the very end, progress was what interested him, the latest machine, the latest way. . . ." Although Bemis had already retired, save for his service as a director, this instinct was certainly evident when the company's principals ventured into jute manufacturing in 1913 through the Angus Jute Company of Calcutta. At the time, Judson Moss Bemis recognized the commodity burlap as particularly valuable, a material that was "king of its kind."
Even more forward-thinking than this joint development was Bemis's entry a year later, at a time when textiles were practically the only packaging materials being used, into paper milling and paper bag manufacturing. Paper packaging continued to grow under the leadership of Judson S. Bemis, who followed A. Farwell Bemis. The emerging paper packaging industry was to become the company's bread-and-butter business, particularly during and immediately after World War II. At that time the scarcity of cotton and burlap coincided with a steadily mounting production of paper, particularly in the South. Interestingly, other raw material shortages during the war led to the development of polyethylene, a highly versatile substance that would soon carry the company to its next technological plateau: plastic film packaging. Successfully leading the company through the World War II years and on into the start of its involvement with plastics and pressure-sensitive materials was F. Gregg Bemis. A grandson of the founder, F. Gregg Bemis managed the company from 1940 to 1960.
Although Bemis still continued to produce cotton and burlap in the 1950s and 1960s, its central product base had shifted decidedly toward paper, plastics, and custom-made packaging machinery. In 1952 the company made a firm commitment to research and development with the construction of its own research laboratory and pilot plant in Minneapolis. Seven years later, it inaugurated a long-range growth program to broaden its product lines and seek out new, compatible markets.
Heady growth under Judson (Sandy) Bemis, another grandson of the founder, characterized the 1960s. It was also during this decade that the company consolidated its headquarters in Minneapolis. By 1965, to reflect the company's growing diversity, the name was officially changed from Bemis Bro. Bag Company to Bemis Company, Inc. In 1966 Bemis common stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Between 1959 and 1969 some 20 acquisitions were made. One of them, Curwood, Inc., launched Bemis into a leadership position in coated and laminated films it retains today. MACtac, established in 1959, also has shown excellent growth as a pressure-sensitive materials supplier. Among other acquisitions of the period that remain a part of the company today, Hayssen Manufacturing Company has been a particularly successful one. Acquired in 1966 to broaden the company's offering of packaging machinery, Hayssen today produces several types of state-of-the-art equipment that are compatible with many Bemis packaging materials. Yet many of the acquisitions of this era proved to be a poor fit with the company's key businesses. According to Pamela Sherrid in a 1975 Forbes article, "a multitude of nowhere diversifications" persisted within the company, endangering its long-term health.
In 1978 Howard Curler was named Bemis' new CEO. With Curler's appointment, the restructuring of Bemis began in earnest. Curler's relationship with Bemis originated in 1965, when Curwood, Inc.--then a small manufacturer of film packaging for cheese and other perishable foods he had co-founded--was acquired by the larger firm. He stayed on as head of his company, which became a leader in polymer manufacture and the related technologies of extrusion, coating, laminating, metallizing, and printing. Following his appointment as head of Bemis, Curler continued to focus on these areas, as well as pressure-sensitive materials, while divesting the company of its textile, publication printing, vinyl wall covering, and other extraneous operations. Within four years, more than $100 million worth of businesses were sold. Curler also launched a $140 million capital expenditure program in 1980, in effect betting close to half of the company's assets to become a first-class producer, rather than converter, of sophisticated multi-layer films for high-margin, specialty food products.
By 1990, if not earlier, Curler's bet had paid off. A Barron's report that year declared Bemis a company "with few peers in the field of flexible packaging," noting that "in almost any area of film or plastic packaging, Bemis is either a major player or staking out a position." Heavy capital investment has continued to distinguish Bemis during the early 1990s under Curler's protégé, CEO John Roe (son-in-law of Sandy Bemis). Acquisitions that place Bemis in a dominant market position have also been emphasized. For example, the purchase of Milprint in late 1990 made the company a leading supplier in printer packaging for the candy industry. Likewise, the acquisition of Princeton Packaging in February 1993 placed Bemis at the top in bread packaging. Clearly Bemis seems to have regained its stride, building upon its preeminence in the milling industry of former days with a host of enviable competencies in the complex food markets of present times.
Principal Subsidiaries: Accraply, Inc.; Curwood, Inc.; Hayssen Manufacturing Company; MacKay Gravure Systems, Inc.; Mankato Corp.; Milprint, Inc.; Morgan Adhesives Co. (86.9%)
Market Cap (Mil.): $3,347.68
Shares Outstanding (Mil.): 106.82
Annual Dividend: 0.96
Yield (%): 3.06
BMS Industry Sector
P/E (TTM): 15.49 6.06 25.38
EPS (TTM): 56.66 -- --
ROI: 6.29 3.23 18.04
ROE: 12.10 7.29 18.03
Incorporated: 1885 as Bemis Bro. Bag Co.
Sales: $1.18 billion
Stock Exchanges: New York
SICs: 2671 Paper Coated and Laminated--Packaging; 2673 Bags: Plastics, Laminated, and Coated; 3089 Plastics Products, nec; 3565 Packaging Machinery
Name Age Since Current Position
Curler, Jeffrey 60 2008 Executive Chairman of the Board
Theisen, Henry 57 2008 President, Chief Executive Officer, Director
Ullem, Scott 44 2010 Chief Financial Officer, Vice President
Wulf, Gene 60 2010 Executive Vice President, Director
Seashore, Eugene 61 2010 Senior Vice President
Austen, William 52 2004 Vice President - Operations
Hawthorne, Robert 61 2007 Vice President - Operations
Ransom, James 51 2007 Vice President - Operations
Edison, Sheri 54 2010 Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary
Miller, Melanie 47 2005 Vice President - Investor Relations, Treasurer
Jaffy, Stanley 62 2002 Vice President, Controller
Fliss, Timothy 48 2010 Vice President - Human Resources
Bolton, William 64 2000 Lead Independent Director
O'Shaughnessy, Roger 68 1997 Independent Director
Perry, Edward 64 1992 Independent Director
Scholle, William 64 2001 Independent Director
Johnson, Barbara 60 2002 Independent Director
Manganello, Timothy 61 2004 Independent Director
Haffner, David 58 2004 Independent Director
Weaver, Philip 58 2005 Independent Director
Peercy, Paul 70 2006 Independent Director
Van Deursen, Holly 53 2008 Independent Director
222 S. Ninth St., Suite 2300
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
Last edited by pratikkk; May 2nd, 2011 at 07:10 PM..