Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Calgary firm buys Reliance Products

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A Winnipeg manufacturer of industrial containers and outdoor living and camping products has been purchased by a Calgary company for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase of Reliance Products LP by the Bodtker Group of Companies is expected to result in significant growth for both firms, officials with the two companies said in a news release issued Tuesday.

"I am once again very optimistic about the opportunities that we will generate by expanding the scope of our business with this acquisition," said Bodtker Group president and CEO Nils Bodtker.

"The Reliance team shares the excitement in moving forward as part of the Bodtker Group," said Reliance CEO Charles Schiele. "This alliance will bring to our customers a larger, more talented resource base and dramatically increase our footprint in Canada, including a western Canadian manufacturing capability."

Schiele said Reliance will also be able to broaden its product offering to include large drums and other bulk containers.

The blow-moulded and injection-moulded industrial products Reliance currently manufactures include rigid bottles, flexible plastic containers and openhead pails. Its consumer products, which are sold through department stores, mass merchants and specialty outdoor retailers, include water containers, portable toilets, storage containers and tent pegs.

The products produced by the Bodtker Group include steel and plastic drums.

It also distributes steel and plastic pails, plastic bottles, metal cans and a variety of packaging accessories.

Reliance has been in business since 1958. It started out packaging battery acid and manufacturing collapsible containers.

By the early 1990s, it had exited the battery-acid business to concentrate on manufacturing plastic packaging and consumer products.

Schiele could not be reached Tuesday for further comment.

Alanna Deis, human resources and marketing leader for the Bodtker Group, said Reliance will continue to operate under its own name as a subsidiary of the Bodtker Group. The existing 125 to 135 employees, as well as the company's current management team, also will be retained.

"We're very, very happy with the key leadership team and the way they conduct the business," Deis said.

Deis said the Bodtker Group has two other businesses in Winnipeg. Its Nemco Resources Ltd. subsidiary blends and packages oils and lubricants, while its Great Western Container facility reconditions steel and plastic drums.

murray.cneill@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 30, 2013 B6

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