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Pratt Industries plans a $120 million box facility in Georgia, hiring 125

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (From news reports) -- A paper and box company will build a $120 million box facility in middle Georgia, with plans to hire more than 125 workers.

Pratt Industries, a private company owned by an Australian billionaire, announced Thursday that it would build the plant in Warner Robins, with plans to begin turning out boxes by late 2024.

Pratt already has nearly 2,000 workers at 12 sites in Georgia, anchored by a paper mill in Conyers and its headquarters in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven. It says the new plant will bring its total investment in Georgia to more than $800 million. The company says the cardboard for the boxes made in Warner Robins will mostly come from Conyers.

The facility is projected to be nearly 500,000 square feet (46,000 square meters.) Warner Robins Mayor LaRhonda W. Patrick said it's the biggest private investment in the city's history.

Pratt uses recycled paper and boxes as a raw material, grinding it up and dissolving it back into watery pulp, then making new cardboard. The company is owned by Australia's Anthony Pratt, considered by some to be that country's richest man. Pratt and his relatives also own Australia's Visy Industries, a sister company.

Anthony Pratt got his start in the United States in 1991 managing a paper mill in Macon that the company sold. But Pratt Industries has grown to 71 sites in 25 states, and now says it's the fifth-largest U.S. maker of corrugated packaging.

Pratt Industries says it's the largest Australian-owned employer of Americans, and says it's investing $5 billion in U.S. facilities over 10 years. The company is finishing a new $400 million paper mill in Henderson, Kentucky, its sixth in the United States.

Pratt has emphasized making boxes using less material, making boxes specialized for customer needs and making small batches of custom-printed boxes.

The company could qualify for $2.5 million in state income tax credits, at $4,000 per job over five years, as long as workers make at least $31,300 a year. The company could qualify for other incentives, including property tax breaks from Warner Robins and Peach County.



ATLANTA - Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that Pratt Industries, Inc., a Georgia-based recycled paper and packaging company, will build a new production facility in the portion of Warner Robins located in Peach County. The new location will create more than 125 jobs and over $120 million in investment.

"We're proud of great Georgia-based companies like Pratt Industries and grateful for their continued growth here in the No. 1 state for business," said Governor Brian Kemp. "Expansions like this account for more than 70 percent of last year's economic development projects and are a testament to our business-friendly and partnership approach as we bring more opportunity for hardworking Georgians."

Based in Atlanta, Pratt Industries is the fifth-largest corrugated packaging company in the United States and the largest privately owned producer of 100 percent recycled containerboard in the world.

"We're very honored to be coming to Warner Robins and we're committed to the great State of Georgia - in fact, Georgia is where our company began," said Anthony Pratt, Global Executive Chairman for Pratt Industries. "This will bring Pratt's total workforce in Georgia to over 2,100 employees and 11,700 nationwide."

The new factory will be the company's 13th site in the state and will bring the company's total investment in Georgia to over $800 million.

"Georgia has substantially grown its role as a regional hub for supporting businesses and manufacturing needs across the Southeast," continued Pratt. "We are excited to expand our operations in the region, allowing us to continue to strategically service our customers and grow the business."

The new Pratt facility will be located at Robins Industrial Park, a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) certified site, in the portion of Warner Robins within Peach County. The planned 496,000-square-foot facility will be one of the most modern of the company's 72 factories spread across 25 states. It will produce corrugated boxes using 100 percent recycled containerboard, largely sourced from the company's mill in Conyers, Georgia. Operations are expected to begin in late 2024.

"We are excited to welcome Pratt Industries into the City of Warner Robins," said Warner Robins Mayor LaRhonda W. Patrick. "Their investment will be the largest single private investment in the history of our city and will provide over 100 new careers for our growing population."

"It's my pleasure to welcome Pratt Industries as the latest job creator and investor here in Peach County, and we are grateful for their decision to locate here," said Martin Moseley, Chairman of the Peach County Board of Commissioners. "Thanks to our highly-skilled workforce and reliable infrastructure, we're ripe for development and this is a huge win for us. This project will bring more opportunities for good jobs to our citizens, and I believe having Pratt here in Middle Georgia will be an asset to other industries in the area who rely on their products. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship and are excited to be a part of the partnership."

Senior Project Manager John Soper represented the Georgia Department of Economic Development's (GDEcD) Global Commerce team on this competitive project in partnership with the Development Authority of Peach County and Georgia Power.

"Georgia works closely with our existing industries and communities to support their long-term health. By investing in site preparation and obtaining GRAD certification, communities are better positioned to attract investments that create jobs aligned with their strategic goals," said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. "For decades, Pratt Industries has been an amazing partner for the state. Many thanks to the company for their continued growth and investment in Georgia, and to our local partners in Warner Robins and Peach County for their dedication to growing their existing industry base."

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