Kentucky firm acquires Eco-Products Inc.

BOULDER – Eco-Products Inc., a food-service products company based in Boulder, was purchased by Waddington North America, a plastic kitchenware products maker, the two companies said Monday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed between Eco-Products and Covington, Kentucky-based Waddington. All 50 or so Boulder employees of Eco-Products Inc. are expected to remain in the Boulder office, and some Waddington employees may join them, said Steve Savage, a founder of Eco-Products.

With the purchase, Eco-Products becomes a division of Waddington and will retain Eco-Products as its name. Mike Hastings will stay on as president of Eco-Products.

Eco Products food-service products can be manufactured at Waddington plants, Savage said. Eco-Products executives had been working on a domestic manufacturing partnership agreement with Waddington for the last year, “so they were an obvious choice to take that partnership up a level,” Savage said.

Following the sale announcement, Savage said he will not be involved in the company anymore. Instead, he will focus on his company National Eco Wholesale Inc., or NEW, which sells sustainable products. Current NEW brands include Boulder Cleaners, sold at various Costco, Whole Foods, King Soopers and other grocery stores, and eRest bedding, Savage said.

Waddington makes disposable kitchenware products including bowls, plastic soft -sided cups and dinnerware and stemware designed to mimic china and crystal. The company was acquired by Stamford, Connecticut-based Olympus Partners in October.

Savage said he plans to grow National Eco Wholesale to manage more than 20 natural product brands in the future. He compares his plans to food brand companies such as Hain Celestial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: HAIN) as well as the future Boulder Brands Inc., currently Smart Balance Inc. (Nasdaq: SMBL), the Paramus, New Jersey-based firm that announced recently that it would move its headquarters to Boulder.

Eco-Products was started in 1990 to sell recycled products. It grew to distribute office, building and home supplies, spinning off a division, Ellie’s Eco Home Store, in 2008. Ellie’s Eco Home Store closed its Boulder retail location in 2011.

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