Donald C. Sarvey
Editorial Enterprises, Inc.
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES $12 MILLION INVESTMENT IN CAMPBELL COUNTY
-Graham Packaging to expand facility in Town of Altavista-
RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Graham Packaging Company, L.P., a global leader in the design, sale and manufacture of custom blow-molded plastic containers, will invest $12.07 million to expand its manufacturing facility in the Town of Altavista in Campbell County, creating 10 jobs.
“Graham Packaging is expanding its facility in Campbell County to serve a new Virginia customer,” Governor Kaine said. “Proximity to its customer base drove this decision, illustrating a great Virginia supply chain story. Altavista is the perfect fit for Graham.”
Graham Packaging, a privately held company owned by The Blackstone Group, is based in York, Pennsylvania. The company is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of technology-based, customized blow-molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household, personal care/specialty, and automotive lubricants product categories. The company has an extensive blue-chip customer base that includes many of the world’s largest branded consumer products companies. It produces more than 20 billion container units annually at 83 plants in North America, Europe, and South America, and had sales of $2.49 billion in 2007.
The Blackstone Group of New York is the majority owner of Graham Packaging. Graham Packaging on July 1, 2008, executed an equity purchase agreement with Hicks Acquisition Company I Inc., under which Graham Packaging would combine with Hicks Acquisition, a Dallas-based special purpose acquisition company. The transaction with Hicks Acquisition, in partnership with the Blackstone Group and other Graham equity holders, will result in a publicly traded company to be named Graham Packaging Company Inc., and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We looked at a number of other states and locations, and Virginia is a business-friendly state where we feel very welcome,” said Mark Leiden, Vice President of Graham Packaging. “We appreciate the support of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and look forward to launching the expansion project and deepening our business and community relationships in the Town of Altavista and Campbell County.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Campbell County and Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $50,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
The Campbell County Board of Supervisors eagerly supports this expansion. Supervisor Stanley Goldsmith, Altavista District, said, “Graham’s expansion is the kind of growth Altavista needs and wants. This company has proven itself to be a stable part of Altavista and Campbell County’s economy. This expansion will create more good jobs for our citizens, benefit the local economy on a long-term basis, and diversify the company’s client base, thus further strengthening the company’s position in the market. And this, in turn, strengthens the Town and the County, in a time when it is much needed.”
“The Town is appreciative of Graham Packaging for being a steady and stable employer in the area and their contribution to the local economy,” said Altavista Mayor J.R. “Rudy” Burgess. “We are glad that they have chosen to expand their Altavista facility. We believe that growing our existing businesses will provide a strong future for the local economy.”
“The Commission is proud to assist with the expansion of this company and looks forward to its continued success,” said Delegate Kathy J. Byron, 22nd District, and member of the Tobacco Commission. “Graham Packaging uses design, technology, and innovation to meet the demands of today’s competitive economy, which is exactly what the Commission seeks as a pathway to economic revitalization. These additional jobs and investments will move us closer to that goal.”
The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission is a 31-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. It has as a significant part of its mission the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities. To date, the Commission has awarded 973 grants totaling more than $432 million across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth. For complete information on all of the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and past awards, visit www.tic.virginia.gov .