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Sonoco (SON) Acquires Laminar Medica, Expands in Europe


Sonoco Products Co.’s SON unit Sonoco ThermoSafe has acquired London-based Laminar Medica from Clinimed (Holdings) Limited. Laminar Medica specializes in the design and manufacture of temperature controlled packaging for the global healthcare industry. Along with expanding Sonoco ThermoSafe’s global presence overall, the acquisition will particularly expand its footprint in the European Temperature-Controlled packaging market.

Operating since 1975, Laminar Medica provides solutions for products that necessitate refrigeration, ambient and frozen temperature control for shipments with duration ranging from 24 hours to 120 hours. Its insulated parcel and pallet shipping solutions are sold globally under well-known brands, including ChillTherm, FreezeTherm, ClimiTherm, MediPhase, MediPorter, MediSorb, and newly launched ChillTech and AmbiTech product lines.

Sonoco ThermoSafe in its own right is a leading global provider of temperature assurance packaging to ensure safe transport of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and other temperature-sensitive products. With operations spread over North America, South America, Europe and Asia, it has a massive product offering featuring industry-leading technology that includes refrigerated, frozen or controlled room temperature applications.



Sonoco Thermosafe is part of Sonoco’s Protective Solutions segment that contributes to around 10% of its sales. In the second quarter, the segment’s net sales were $130 million, up 3% year over year. Operating profit at the segment was $14.2 million, up 5% from $13.6 million in the year-ago quarter as strong volume growth, mostly in temperature-assured packaging, and a positive price/cost relationship helped mitigate higher labor, maintenance and other operating costs as well as a negative mix of business.

Benefits From the Acquisition

Laminar’s strong brands, manufacturing, design, testing and qualification capabilities in the United Kingdom and Europe complement ThermoSafe’s footprint. This complementary relation will help provide the level of trust and confidence the customers demand from a global market leader in temperature-assurance solutions. As the pharmaceutical and biotech industry continues to expand globally, the acquisition of Laminar Medica will help Sonoco meet the increased demands for their temperature-assurance logistics needs.

In line with this, earlier this month, Sonoco ThermoSafe acquired the PharmaPort 360 assets, licenses, trademarks and manufacturing rights from AAR. This buyout will help Sonoco to enter the active temperature-controlled cargo containers market. The PharmaPort 360 is an innovative active container that uses regenerative heat exchangers to maintain stringent temperature control for high-value cargo.

Sonoco Remains Committed to Growth

These acquisitions are in sync with Sonoco’s strategy to provide the best temperature-controlled shipping solutions to meet customers’ critical needs to ship high-value pharmaceuticals and biologics worldwide. Sonoco remains committed to deliver on its ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy that focuses on targeted growth of the company’s Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses, and optimizing its Industrial-focused businesses.

At present, Sonoco carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Berry Plastics Group, Inc. BERY, Packaging Corporation of America PKG and UFP Technologies, Inc. UFPT. All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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