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Pratt Industries' Anthony Pratt named to Top 50 Power List

Local business leaders and officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 for Pratt Industries' $260 million, 250,000-square-foot paper recycling plant in Valparaiso. Anthony Pratt, at right in the front row of seats, is chairman and CEO of Pratt Industries. He was named to the RISI Top 50 Power List for 2017 in the most recent issue of Tappi Paper360 magazine.

John Luke, The Times

Pratt Industries Chairman and founder Anthony Pratt has been named one of the most influential people internationally in the world of pulp, paper and packaging.

RISI, a leading information provider for the global forest products industry, named Pratt to its Top 50 Power List 2017 in the most recent issue of its Tappi Paper360 magazine.

The Australian billionaire is Valparaiso's largest private-sector employer, according to the mayor's office. Pratt Industries employs about 500 workers at a recycled paper mill on Ind. 49 and a neighboring recycled corrugated box factory next door that makes boxes for Home Depot, Amazon, Nestle, 3M, Unilever and other companies.

"During the past couple of decades, the Australian billionaire has spent about $2.5 billion building Pratt Industries into the sixth largest US containerboard producer, with four recycled containerboard mills and more than 60 box plants generating $3 billion in sales," RISI said in the award entry. "The Midwest has been a major area of recent investment, but recent speculation has been on Pratt Industries’ future expansion plans in the West, where the company bought Robert Mann Packaging. Pratt has talked of plans to build a $1 billion corrugated box business in California and possibly add a mill on the West Coast. More recently, he mentioned plans to build a ‘high-tech, robotic’ box plant in California for more than $70 million."

Pratt ranked 6th out of industry executives worldwide, up from 23rd last year because of the company's growth. He also has been honored as RISI's North American Packaging CEO of the Year.

His Valparaiso factory makes 76 million lineal feet of recycled paper every month, enough to be stretched entirely around the the United States.


Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.