Alcan Plans to Build Packaging Plant in Winston-Salem, N.C.

One of the companies involved in the purchase of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s RJR Packaging LLC division plans to build a plant in Winston-Salem.

The site and other details of the proposed packaging plant have not been determined, Alexander Christen, a spokesman for Alcan Inc., said yesterday.

Alcan's Alcan Packaging Food and Tobacco Inc. was one of five companies that bought RJR Packaging for $48.2 million and entered into long-term tobacco packaging agreements with Reynolds. The sale closed Monday.

The Alcan division will supply printed packaging, including cartons, boxes and labels for Reynolds under an agreement with the company.

Alcan plans to offer jobs to 170 RJR Packaging employees, Reynolds said.

Alcan is an aluminum and packaging and aluminum-recycling company based in Montreal. Alcan has 70,000 employees worldwide.

Terms of individual agreements with the buyers were not disclosed.

"We will be able to supply RJR Tobacco with reliable, cost-efficient, high quality packaging materials, and we are committed to making this relationship successful and mutually beneficial," said Ralf Wunderlich, the president of Alcan's global tobacco-packaging business.

Alcan also has tobacco-packaging plants in Chester, Va., and Peachtree City, Ga.

Alcan traces its roots back to 1902 when it was chartered as Northern Aluminum Co. Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of Pittsburgh Reduction Co. Pittsburgh Reduction would later become Alcoa Inc., which is based in Pittsburgh. Alcoa eventually shed the subsidiary and the Canadian company became independent.

Alcan reported a profit of $258 million in 2004 on sales of $24.9 billion.