Irish packaging firm to build plant in Delaware

 (photo courtesy AB Group Packaging)

(photo courtesy AB Group Packaging)

AB Group Packaging is expected to hire nearly 100 workers when it opens its first U.S. factory in Newark.

 AB Group’s Newark factory will join plants in Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom in manufacturing paper bags and flexible packaging products. Customers of the packaging firm include T.J. Maxx, Nike and Hard Rock Cafe. The company expects to start its Delaware operations later this summer.

“The kind of manufacturing jobs they create will help support long-term economic growth in a key industry,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell in a statement. “With this plant, AB also joins a number of international companies that are expanding in or moving operations to our state.” Markell said that is an important trend in a global economy.

To woo AB to Delaware, the state offered a $253,365 grant from the Strategic Fund. That money will be paid out if AB creates 87 full-time jobs by the end of 2017. The company is also eligible for $120,000 if they spend up to $4 million in capital expenditures.

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“Our management team was completely bowled over by the ‘can do’ attitude [in Delaware],” said Dermot Brady, CEO of AB Group. “We were looking for the very best America has to offer and believe we have found it here.” Brady founded the company with his father. In 2010, the company opened a plant in South Wales with 34 employees. Today, 90 people work at that facility and AB expects 200 workers to be employed at the South Wales site in three years.

The company decided move across the Atlantic to meet the needs of their largest customer Primark, a European retailer. Primark recently acquired eight of the best performing and recently closed Sears stores in the Northeast. That purchase increased AB’s need to build in the United States to keep up with Primark’s demands.


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