Merger to bring 50 new jobs to Portage
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Merger to bring 50 new jobs to Portage

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TriEnda Holdings has acquired The PendaForm Company, creating a partnership that’s expected to bring 50 new jobs to Portage.

TriEnda is officially controlled by Oklahoma-based Kruger Brown Holdings, which purchased TriEnda in April 2014. TriEnda’s purchase of PendaForm occurred in late December.

TriEnda specializes in heavy-gauge plastic pallets and shipping containers. PendaForm makes pickup bed liners and accessories. TriEnda is located at N7660 Industrial Road, and PendaForm is located at 2344 W. Wisconsin St.

The merger means TriEnda now has 500 employees in Portage between the two plants.

In addition to previous duties, TriEnda CEO John Brown becomes the new CEO of PendaForm, and TriEnda President David Kruger becomes PendaForm’s new president.

The two companies together are expected to generate more than $200 million in annual sales, Kruger said. TriEnda had in 2015 reported sales of $51.5 million, according to Plastics News.

“It means my day’s a lot busier,” Kruger said of the merger. “We’re excited about the opportunity. It’s good for Portage.”

“This makes both companies stronger and brings growth to our area,” Kruger said. “Our biggest challenge is we need more employees.”

TriEnda has 40 immediate job openings and PendaForm has 25. Kruger expects more job openings throughout the year as a result of the merger, since “our business is going to grow.” All in all, the merger is expected to generate 50 new jobs in Portage.

Moreover, the merger won’t result in cuts. “Everybody’s keeping their jobs.”

Adding more jobs in Portage creates a “trickle-down effect” that helps everyone, Portage Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marianne Hanson said. “It’s a unique partnership. We’re always excited to hear when we can add jobs in the community — that’s always good for us.

“It’s not just adding to one aspect of economy,” since more jobs means selling more “gas, food, clothing — it does many good things in the community.”

TriEnda is looking for operators, assistant operators and entry-level finishers, Kruger said. Interested job seekers can contact the company’s human resources department at 608-742-5303, ext. 2336.

“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Kruger said. The jobs, he added, involve new incentives for hourly employees. “At the end of every month, however the company does, everyone gets a bonus. We’re pushing to increase wages in the area, because we need employees.”

Despite being based in Oklahoma, Kruger said he and Brown are in Portage “all the time.”

“I’m here in Portage usually every week,” he said.

“This is good for the area, and this is good for the community.”

According to a news release from Kruger, the company is the largest heavy-gauge thermoformer in North America, with 47 heavy-gauge thermoforming machines, 13 extrusion lines and a 14th extrusion line planned for 2017. PendaForm’s customer base and capabilities combined with TriEnda’s material expertise gives the company “endless possibilities” in business.

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