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Packaging firm is sold; Southern Container, packaging veterans buy Pohlig Bros.

January 12, 2002


Jan 12, 2002

Pohlig Bros. Inc., a packaging company with operations in the Richmond area for 135 years, has been sold.

The company’s new owners are packaging industry veterans Michael Gaffney and James Petit, who joined with Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Southern Container Corp. to buy Pohlig. Terms were not disclosed.

Pohlig was founded as a small box-making enterprise in Richmond in 1866 by German immigrant August Pohlig, a knife grinder and polisher, and bookbinder Otto Meister.

The company was operated by the Pohlig family for four generations till acquired in 1987 by Walter C. Herter, formerly chief operating officer of a St. Louis aviation maintenance and engineering firm.

Pohlig designs and makes custom boxes and other paper goods and employs about 50 people. The sale is not expected to have an immediate impact on employment, Gaffney said yesterday.

“Our intention is to build our sales, and through that create additional opportunities,” he said.

Pohlig will continue to manufacture boxes at its plant in the Chesterfield County Airport Industrial Park.

The company operated a plant in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood from 1909 to 1996, when it built the 110,000-square-foot plant in Chesterfield County.

Southern Container Corp. is a privately owned company that has several corrugated container plants, primarily in the Northeast. The company wants to expand into central Virginia, Gaffney said.

Petit previously worked as vice president of marketing and sales for St. Laurent Packaging Corp., general manager for International Paper Co., and sales manager for Mack-Chicago Corp.

Gaffney started Resource Packaging Group, a Richmond-based specialty packaging company. He also headed specialty packaging initiatives for St. Laurent, and was vice president of sales and marketing for Ames Specialty Packaging, vice president and general manager of Four M Manufacturing Group and general manager for Southern Container Corp.

In a statement, Herter said he was “happy to have achieved the goals I set for myself when I bought the company 14 years ago. I built a new plant and modernized the business to make room for expansion and prepare for future growth.”

Copyright (c) 2002, Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

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