Corrugated container company Pratt Industries has acquired food and agricultural packaging firm Robert Mann Packaging for $60m.

With this investment, Pratt has made a major expansion into California as it secures access to manufacturing sites stretching from New York to the West Coast.

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Robert Mann Packaging currently operates more than 12 facilities in the western US and Mexico, including a 350,000ft² box-making plant in Salinas.

Its facilities in California, Arizona and Mexico will bring Pratt’s number of facilities to more than 120 sites.

"This deal is a win-win for both Visy Australia and Pratt Industries USA."

The company claims that the acquisition will also help integrate its American and Australian holdings as paper converted into packaging by the new acquisition will come from this Melbourne-based Visy Industries’ kraft paper mills in Tumut, New South Wales, Australia.

Commenting on the acquisition, Pratt Industries chairman and owner Anthony Pratt said: "This deal is a win-win for both Visy Australia and Pratt Industries USA.

"It adds another major export customer for our Tumut operations and gives us a true national presence in the US by opening up California, the only region we didn’t have an operation."

The deal will also increase Pratt’s workforce in the US by 200 to more than 5,100 people.

"Another benefit is that this deal allows us to also introduce our lightweight paper technology to the agricultural produce community," added Pratt.

"We are the only company that can supply lightweight kraft paper so customers will now have access to packaging which uses less paper to produce a high performance box. That, in turn, makes our packaging more cost-effective.".

In addition, Pratt is constructing a new corrugated box factory in Beloit, Wisconsin, which is expected to open in early 2016. Its fourth 100% recycled paper mill in Valparaiso, Indiana, is scheduled for operations later this year.

Image: Robert Mann Packaging headquarters in Salinas, California. Photo: courtesy of Pratt Industries.