Richmond, Virginia, USA, 23 October 2008 – MeadWestvaco Corp. (NYSE: MWV) has formed a joint venture with India-based corrugated box manufacturer Wadco Packaging Pvt. Ltd. by purchasing a 51% equity stake in the company. The MWV-Wadco joint venture will extend the proven corrugated packaging design, manufacturing, and technology capabilities of Wadco and MWV to India’s local fresh produce market, where there is a 40% value loss of the produce before it reaches the market due to inefficient post-harvest practices, processing, and handling. The joint venture, a first of its kind in India, will help eliminate waste and strengthen supply chain efficiency by protecting products during transport to the local Indian marketplace.
“Wadco’s manufacturing capabilities and on-the-ground expertise combined with MWV’s advanced packaging technology will provide solutions that meet the business challenges of the Indian marketplace,” said Bruce Thomas, senior vice president, Global Market Strategy and Emerging Markets, MWV. “This transaction supports our overall strategy for growth in emerging markets and is an important step in enabling us to better address local needs while building our presence in the fast-growing Indian market.”
Under the agreement, MWV will oversee Wadco operations and Pankaj Wadhwa, current owner of Wadco, will continue to run the company as managing director. Wadco will begin manufacturing MWV’s rigid, humidity-resistant agriproduce corrugated packaging, and apply it to the Indian produce market and other markets it serves, including consumer goods, household appliances, and pharmaceuticals. The new business model will build on and adapt MWV’s packaging expertise, resulting in a broader product portfolio, more value chain experience, and cutting edge design, materials, equipment, and technology.
“Our packaging solutions have added significant value in Brazil, and we look forward to bringing MWV’s and Wadco’s strengths together to serve the Indian marketplace,” said Bob Feeser, president of MWV Paperboard Operations. “In addition to produce protection, our packaging is designed to provide an appealing point-of-sale display, demonstrating the multiple benefits of the solution’s superior design and technology,” he said.
“Wadco’s business has grown tremendously,” said Wadhwa. “The demand for value-added corrugated packaging in India is expanding, and our partnership with MWV will take our business to even greater heights as we collaborate on new capabilities that allow us to meet the growing needs of our customers. MWV’s strong history, reputation, and global experience make them an ideal partner.”
MeadWestvaco Corporation provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most admired brands in the healthcare, personal and beauty care, food, beverage, media and entertainment, and home and garden industries. The company's businesses include Consumer & Office Products, Specialty Chemicals, and the Community Development and Land Management Group, which sustainably manages the company’s land holdings to support its operations, and to provide for conservation, recreation and development opportunities. With 23,000 employees worldwide, MWV operates in 30 countries and serves customers in more than 100 nations. MWV manages all of its forestlands in accordance with internationally recognized forest certification standards, and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth consecutive year.