VA: Ardagh Group to Invest $93.5M to Expand in Roanoke Valley

7 Aug, 2013

Ardagh Group, a global manufacturer of containers for the food and beverage industry, will invest $93.5 million to open a metal packaging manufacturing plant in an industrial building in Roanoke County.  The plan is expected to create 96 jobs.

The announcement  from the governor’s office and Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group described the deal as the largest single manufacturing investment in the area in years.

“This tremendous project represents the largest single manufacturing investment in Roanoke County history and is a major win for Virginia against six competing states. The new manufacturing plant is Ardagh Group’s first operation in the commonwealth, and will allow the company to easily serve contracts with its expanding global customer base,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement.

Earlier this year Ardagh signed a long-term supply agreement with a major customer, ConAgra, requiring the company to add capacity in the eastern U.S. Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee for the project.

“Our expansion into Roanoke County was the result of evaluating a variety of qualifications, including, but not limited to, the proximity to our major customer, favorable business tax structure, skilled labor and reasonable cost of living for our employees, as well as logistical advantages,” said James Willich, CEO, Ardagh Metal Packaging USA Inc. “We’re pleased that Roanoke County emerged to be the clear choice.”

According to Poe and Cronk, Ardagh paid $14.5 million for a 640,000-square-foot industrial facility that used to serve as the fulfillment center for Hanover Direct.

The Roanoke-based real estate firm said the size of the building, coupled with 40-foot ceilings, expansion capabilities and its proximity to main traffic arteries, drew interest from potential buyers from around the world. After Poe and Cronk put the property on the market, it heard from multiple potential purchasers including developers, distributors, and manufacturers. “Ultimately, the final sales price reflected the returning strength to the commercial real estate market and increasing demand for quality properties,” Dennis Cronk, president/CEO of Poe & Cronk, said in a statement.

During the past four months, Cronk said his firm worked closely with the Roanoke County Department of Economic Development, the Roanoke Valley Economic Development Partnership, and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to sell Ardagh on the Roanoke Valley and the Hanover Direct Building.

Poe and Cronk originally handled the acquisition of the property by Hanover Direct in 1994 for use as its fulfillment Center. Cronk and broker Matt Huff, also of Poe & Cronk, represented Hanover Direct in the sales transaction with Ardagh.

McDonnell approved a $750,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Roanoke County with the project. The company also qualifies for rail access funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support recruitment and training activities.

Ardagh Group is a Luxembourg-based leader in metal and glass packaging solutions for the world’s food, beverage and consumer brands. The company has more than 100 facilities and 18,000 employees in 25 countries producing 26.6 billion containers a year. U.S. metal packaging operations are based in Carnegie, Pa. In addition to Roanoke, the company has facilities in Bloomsburg, Pa., Weirton, W.Va., Conklin, N.Y., and Terminal Island, Calif.