Local News

Sealaska sells off share in plastics venture

Southeast’s regional Native corporation is out of the plastics business.

Sealaska sold its share of factories in Alabama, Iowa and Guadalajara, Mexico, on Monday.

Nypro Incorporated bought out Sealaska’s share of their Nypro Kánaak partnership. The purchase price was not revealed.

President and CEO Chris McNeil Jr. says it’s part of a larger effort to narrow investments.

“This particular operation has had a spotty performance over the years. But now all three operations have been profitable. When you have a company that has increasing profitability, that’s generally the time to sell if you have the opportunity to sell,” he says.

Nypro was recently purchased by Jabil, a huge multinational corporation with 60 plants in 33 countries. McNeil says that was also a factor in the sale.

He says a few tribal members interned at Nypro. But the factories were too far away to benefit most shareholders.

Sealaska’s board and management are considering new areas of investment in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, where most of its 22,000 shareholders live.

“We’re also looking for something that is more constant with our Native values, including the concept of sustainability,” he says.

Sealaska sold its global logistics subsidiary earlier this year, giving the same reasons.

McNeil says the corporation has not chosen a company or industry to replace the plastics business.

He says the sale will not have a large financial impact on shareholder dividends.

“This will become less gross revenues. But of course the revenue and income from the sale itself earns income during the time we’re holding money for reinvestment,” he says.

Sealaska’s plastics venture began in the late 1990s with a subsidiary called TriQuest Precision Plastics, which had a plant in Vancouver, Washington.

Changes in the market led the factory to close. Sealaska then combined assets with Nypro to form the partnership. It made bleach containers, filtered water bottles and other products.

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