Iron Heart Canning Co. is once again expanding its budding aluminum empire.
The New Hampshire-based mobile canning company today announced the acquisition of Asheville, North Carolina’s Land of the Sky Mobile Canning. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This marks Iron Heart’s third acquisition in the last six months: The company finalized its purchase of Ohio-based Buckeye Canning in July and acquired Virginia-based Old Dominion Mobile Canning in September.
“We saw opportunities that we just couldn’t pass up that meet our long-term goals in a faster fashion,” Iron Heart president Joe Marston told Brewbound. “Why ignore it?”
Its latest purchase enables Iron Heart to expand its presence in the South, where it had previously operated via Old Dominion, and service breweries across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.
Iron Heart’s footprint now extends into 13 states along the East Coast and in the Midwest, and its 16 canning lines are now used by more than 200 brewery clients.
In 2016, the Iron Heart family of canning lines filled about 20 million cans, Marston said. In the Northeast alone, Iron Heart worked with about 90 brewery clients to fill 15 million cans, up from about about 9 million in 2015.
“Revenue wise, it was about 100 percent year-over-year growth,” Marston said.
According to Marston, Iron Heart is in the process of restructuring the territories of its recently acquired canning businesses, so each division can accommodate more clients across the Northeast, the South and the Midwest.
The company will maintain its headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire, and operate warehouses in Monroe, Connecticut; Williston, Vermont; Richmond, Virginia; Asheville, North Carolina; and Elyria, Ohio. Three new warehouses are also coming online in Edison, New Jersey; Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Cincinnati area.
In the South, Iron Heart maintains six canning lines — three in Ashland, VA and three in Asheville, N.C. — and each one is capable of servicing about 15 customers.
Michael Horn, the former owner of Old Dominion, will lead Iron Heart’s new southern division. He’ll be assisted by Land of the Sky owners Meg and Craig Smith, who will serve as sales manager and regional leader, respectively.
“We are excited to be a part of the Iron Heart team, as we believe this merger will be the next step forward for the mobile beverage canning industry,” the Smiths said in a press release. “We are excited for the future and the partnership that has been created and are grateful for our region’s trust and respect as we plan to continue operating with the highest levels of quality and passion.”
The Southern division, which grew more than 25 percent last year, will be capable of filling upwards of 7 million cans annually, Horn added.
The latest acquisition also allows Iron Heart “to be more dynamic and flexible,” and gives the company the option to “move canning lines and operations up and down the east coast as demand warrants,” Horn said.
To address some of that demand, Iron Heart will relocate one of its canning lines to Raleigh, allowing it to more effectively service the Carolinas, Horn added.
Also on the table is the option to leave a dedicated canning line at a brewery with high demand, something they’ve already experimented with at Trillium Brewing in Canton, Massachusetts.
Although Iron Heart has purchased three mobile canning businesses in the last year, the company won’t look to continue expanding via acquisition, Marston told Brewbound.
“We’re not starving for any more of that,” he said. “We have plenty of work to do in our original territory. We have a good setup in the Northeast, South and Midwest to build on. We can cover a lot more ground as we build on this model.”
Each of the Iron Heart-owned mobile canners are part of the Colorado-based Mobile Canning Systems affiliate program, which provides training and support — as well as a supply of cans through CanSource — to 17 independently owned operations throughout the country.