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Strategic acquisitions, service offerings position TC Transcontinental as a leader

By Alyssa Mitchell

MONTRÉAL — With several strategic acquisitions under its belt and competitive customer service and product offerings, TC Transcontinental

Packaging is positioning itself as a leader in the North American flexible packaging industry.

Transcontinental Inc. (“TC Transcontinental”) is a publicly traded company with more than 9,000 employees, the majority of which are based in Canada, the United States and Latin America.

Since entrepreneur Rémi Marcoux founded TC Transcontinental in 1976, the company’s willingness to anticipate customers’ needs, to innovate and to transform has been the key to its success, says Rebecca Casey, vice president of marketing and consumer market development, TC Transcontinental Packaging.

“Since our early days, our growth story has been driven by a profound desire to always serve our customers better,” she says. “Guided by our strong culture, shaped by our family values, TC Transcontinental has deftly tackled challenges and seized opportunities over the years.”

• Foray into flexible packaging

TC Transcontinental entered the flexible packaging industry in 2014 with the acquisition of Capri Packaging in Clinton, Missouri. That acquisition represented an important strategic move for the corporation into a new promising growth area.

“Back at that time, we evaluated various industries where we could leverage our manufacturing competency, a great success for us in the past,” she says. “The market also offered many opportunities for growth and still do so today. We took action and initiated our strategic shift with our eyes on our future.”

Since 2014, TC Transcontinental has made several additional strategic acquisitions that have positioned the company to drive organic growth and pursue its diversification strategy, Casey adds.

In the fall of 2015, the acquisition of Ultra Flex, Brooklyn, New York, allowed TC Transcontinental to expand its footprint in the United States and double its packaging revenues.

“The Ultra Flex acquisition gave us access to a national sales force as well as to new vertical markets (coffee, pet food and cigars) and manufacturing capabilities,” Casey says.

In June 2016, TC Transcontinental acquired Robbie Manufacturing, Lenexa, Kansas, a strategic move on two fronts, Casey notes.

“First, it allowed us to enter into two new packaging niches: on-site packaging needs for grocery stores and shrink wrap packaging of multipack consumer goods. Second, it allowed us to create opportunities for synergies with our existing facilities nearby (Capri),” she says.

In October of that same year, the company acquired Flexstar Packaging, located in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, British Columbia.

“This acquisition was our first in Canada, strengthening our North American platform,” Casey says. “Flexstar enabled us to extend our footprint to the West Coast, providing us a coast-to-coast platform to better optimize our production.

She adds it also brought TC Transcontinental new manufacturing capabilities with blown film extrusion, as well as a complementary sales force and the ability to generate synergies.

In 2017, TC Transcontinental acquired Québec-based Les Industries Flexipak Inc., allowing the company to extend its footprint to Eastern Canada. It also gave the corporation the opportunity to further develop its existing relationships with retailers in the country, Casey says.

The company’s sixth acquisition was Multifilm Packaging in March 2018. Located near Chicago in Elgin, Illinois, Multifilm is a leader in high-end confectionery packaging in North America, Casey notes. It specializes in piece-wraps and high-barrier laminates for the confectionery, snacks and dry foods markets and allowed TC Transcontinental to bolster its offerings in those markets.

“Multifilm expands our manufacturing capabilities, namely with aluminum foil printing and demetallization, thereby enabling us to leverage these processes within our North American packaging platform,” she says.

Most recently, in May 2018, TC Transcontinental completed the transformational acquisition of Coveris Americas, becoming a North American leader in flexible packaging.

“With this acquisition, we have considerably expanded our presence with the addition of 21 production sites to our flexible packaging platform on a global scale, mainly in North America and Latin America,” Casey says.

She notes the acquisition allowed TC Transcontinental to expand its product offerings thanks to best-in-class manufacturing capabilities and greater film manufacturing capabilities.

“Furthermore, in the wake of this acquisition, we are well-positioned today across a broad range of growing end markets within the flexible packaging industry, namely dairy, pet food, agriculture and consumer products,” Casey says. “Today, we are happy to say that the integration is going well. We continue joining our respective expertise and strengths, and we are working together to create value for the 3,500 loyal customers of Coveris Americas that we welcomed, many of which are leaders in their markets.”

She adds the Coveris acquisition was a “turning point” in TC Transcontinental’s 42-year history.

“It crystallized our strategic shift toward flexible packaging and solidified our commitment to profitable growth,” she says.

• Key offerings

Casey notes TC Transcontinental Packaging blends art, science and technology to create the perfect flexible packaging for its customers.

“We take those three elements to the table with our clients to launch new products to the market through product development or line extension. We develop partnerships with them and collaborate to drive innovation and be at the forefront of the cheese and dairy industry trends,” she says.

Company prepress teams assist clients from concept to plates in order to create a package that accentuates their brand and inspires consumers on the shelves, Casey says.

The other key component is the science behind each package, defining and designing the structure and its components to be able to produce packaging that protects the product, she adds. Finally, the company uses a wide variety of printing techniques, laminations and converting styles to create a package that gives a competitive advantage to its customers.

TC Transcontinental Packaging has a wide array of innovative packaging solutions for dairy products including shredded, sliced or chunk natural cheese, cracker cuts and snack cheese, and dried whey and milk. The company offers a wide variety of products including barrier films, forming and non-forming films, stand-up pouches, overwrap, shrink bags, lidding films and snack packs. It also offers a bag-in-bag multiwall paper bag for powdered dairy.

Some of its key offerings include:

• Multiwall bags for dairy powders: TC Transcontinental Packaging offers unique sealable, ventable and removable liner multiwall paper bags for dairy powders including whey, nonfat dry milk and whole milk.

“We call them our ‘bag-in-bag’ innovative packaging that allows an easy separation of the paper and poly,” Casey says. “Reliable and robust for demanding applications, the bags have barrier protection to provide superior shelf life and moisture protection. They are stable, perfect for quick filling and have a large block bottom for increased uptime, line speeds and fill rates. It also offers a sustainable liner that can be recycled with corrugated. Multiple closure options are available.”

• Halo films for natural sliced and chunk cheese: The company’s high-speed halo film is made with proprietary tandem extrusion lamination technology suited for low profile applications, printed or plain. Its lighter film gauge delivers a cost-effective packaging solution without compromising quality, Casey notes. TC Transcontinental uses a patented EVOH barrier encapsulation process that keeps the product fresh and optimizes shelf life, she adds.

• Envio forming and non-forming films: These are proprietary, first-to-world water quench forming films, Casey says. They offer superior optics with glass-like clarity and low haze, and easy peel, peel reseal, hermetic and lock-up seals. They can be produced with high or low barrier.

• Laser scoring technology for both shredded and sliced cheese: TC Transcontinental Packaging can provide the industry with both machine and cross directional laser scoring and perforating technology, ensuring customers can reliably open the product with ease and consistency, Casey says. The company’s state-of-the art scoring equipment enables calibration at specific intensities and frequencies and facilitates package designs that keep the product safer, fresher and longer, she adds.

• Company philosophy

Casey says TC Transcontinental’s values guide its actions and reflect its commitment to all of its stakeholders.

By demonstrating respect, working as a team and focusing on performance and innovation, TC Transcontinental’s employees embody its values and make them more dynamic every day, she says.

“Together, all 9,000 employees of TC Transcontinental are building a company we can all be proud of,” she adds.

TC Transcontinental has integrated best practices in sustainable development as part of its business activities and processes, Casey notes.

The company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) journey began with the adoption of its first environmental policy in 1993.

“Over the years, our commitment to pursuing our business activities in a responsible manner has led to numerous achievements. Most notably, we have adopted several internal policies and established three-year CSR plans in connection with our business strategy,” Casey says. “We are proud of the strides we have made, and we intend to further our progress.”

For TC Transcontinental’s Packaging Sector, its commitment is built around three pillars: creative collaboration, product responsibility and circular approach.

The company commits to finding long-term solutions with its stakeholders, providing its customers and the community with safe and high-performing packaging as well as designing products that consider the environmental impacts of a product during its entire life-cycle, Casey says.

“Also, as an important player in our customers’ food packaging supply chain, we take food sanitary practices very seriously,” she says. “All personnel in each facility follow stringent hygiene policies, procedures and protocols to reduce the risk of product contamination. Our plants are also certified SQF Level 3, SQF Level 2, AIB Superior Ratings or Interstate Milk Shippers (IMS) approved.”

With sustainability as a major priority for TC Transcontinental, the company also is looking at different sustainable options that the technology permits, Casey adds.

“For example, we offer PVDC-free shrink bags, called Nextrus, with exceptional clarity, excellent high gloss finish and the ability to print up to 10 colors on both sides of the bag. Our Nextrus vacuum shrink bags have proprietary sealant and extrusion technology,” she says.

To keep pace in the packaging industry, research and development are at the top of TC Transcontinental’s priorities to develop intuitive packaging for the consumer and meet their ever-growing needs, Casey notes.

“It is the cornerstone for innovation-driven growth. We also invest in industry research studies to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and consumer habits,” she says.

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