Bemis Company, Inc. will begin the celebration of its 150th anniversary by ringing The Closing Bell(R) at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 4:00 p.m. EST. The bell ringing will be attended by Jeffrey Curler, Chairman and CEO of Bemis Company, and the Bemis Board of Directors. A live webcast of the event will be available beginning at 3:55 p.m. EST on the homepage of the New York Stock Exchange, www.nyse.com.
Since it began in 1858 as a simple operation above a machine shop in St. Louis, Missouri with only three employees, Bemis has grown to become the largest flexible packaging company in the Americas and a leader in the production of pressure sensitive materials, with 55 locations in 10 countries. The company has gone from producing simple seamless cotton bags for shipping flour to providing innovative and reliable packaging and pressure sensitive solutions to a vast array of customers and markets.
"The ringing of the New York Stock Exchange closing bell marks the beginning of an important year for Bemis," stated Curler. "We issued our first shares of stock in 1885 and have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1966. Now, a century and a half after our founding, we can take this opportunity to celebrate our rich and distinctive history and look forward to continuing to serve our customers with creative solutions for the next 150 years."
Judson Moss Bemis, founder of the Bemis Company, was the first to champion the use of machine-sewn cotton bags instead of the hand-sewn bags more commonly used at the time. Finding success in textile bag production, Bemis produced new packaging materials as technology and consumer trends developed, expanding into paper bag production in 1913. In the 1950s Bemis began to explore the extrusion, printing, and conversion of polyethylene, and, in 1959, the company entered into the pressure-sensitive adhesives business.
Since the 1960s, Bemis has grown significantly, extending its presence in the United States and abroad with strategic acquisitions and moving away from textile bag production. The company has developed new technologies and products for food and consumer product packaging and expanded into new markets such as medical device and pharmaceutical packaging. In 2005, Bemis reached a new milestone, surpassing the $3 billion mark with a record $3.5 billion in net sales. As it moves into its anniversary year, Bemis anticipates a future marked by the same dedication to its customers, employees, shareholders, and consumers around the world that it has displayed in the 150 years since its founding.
Anniversary celebrations will begin at the Bemis annual meeting in May and include a traveling series of historical exhibits honoring the Bemis Company's history of excellence and innovation. The exhibits will be displayed at all Bemis locations worldwide.