Pak-Rite Ltd. acquired by Grand Rapids firm

Founder Rick Blaha sells packaging manufacturer

Pak-Rite makes foam packaging.

Milwaukee-based Pak-Rite Ltd. has been acquired by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Universal Forest Products Inc. It was sold by founder Rick Blaha for an undisclosed price.

Pak-Rite manufactures packaging, including foam and plastic components and wood crating systems, for makers of high-value products such as medical, aerospace and automation equipment. The company was founded in 1996 and has about 60 employees at two manufacturing facilities totaling 150,000 square feet. Its 12-month trailing revenue was $15 million through September.

Universal Forest Products is the parent company of several wood, wood composite and other products manufacturers that serve the retail, construction and industrial sectors. It was founded in 1955 and has affiliates worldwide, for which it provides capital, management and administrative resources.

UFPI plans to retain all of Pak-Rite’s employees at its existing location. Kirk Blaha, who had served as president of Pak Rite, has been appointed general manager of operations. Rick Blaha, who founded and served as chief executive officer of Pak-Rite, will consult with UFPI in the transition and then exit the company.

“Pak-Rite aligns with our strategic objective to become the industry’s foremost packaging solutions provider,” said Matthew Missad, CEO of UFPI. “It has earned a reputation for extraordinary products and services, and we are excited to add them to our growing portfolio of packaging products. We’re very fortunate to add the dedicated people of Pak-Rite who have been instrumental in creating a successful company and who are motivated to grow their careers and the Pak-Rite products with Universal.”

“We are excited for this new chapter of our business after more than 20 years of success,” Kirk Blaha said. “With the strength of Universal, we will be able to grow our customer base, products and design services, and offer more opportunity to our people. It is a winning situation all the way around, and we look forward to being part of the growing Universal family of companies.”

Milwaukee-based investment bank Taureau Group LLC advised Pak-Rite in the transaction.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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