|Industry||Single-use food service packaging|
|Founder||William A. Dart|
Number of locations
|45 Production, Distribution, Office Facilities|
Robert C. Dart, CEO|
Kenneth Dart, Chairman
Foam food service products|
Plastic cups & containers
Number of employees
Dart Container Corporation of Mason, Michigan, United States is the world's largest manufacturer of foam cups and containers, producing about as many as all competitors combined. Dart Container is privately held by the Dart family.
Dart Manufacturing Company was founded in 1937 by William F. Dart as a machine shop, manufacturing key rings, steel tape measures, and dog tags for the Department of Defense. When his son, William A. Dart, came out of the University of Michigan with three degrees (metallurgy, mathematics, and engineering), he worked for DuPont briefly, then joined the family business in the late 1950s. He experimented with and perfected an expandable polystyrene (EPS) molding process, and shipped their first insulated foam cups in April 1960. Dart Container Corporation was incorporated in 1960.
Dart Container Corporation is vertically integrated, which, according to the company, makes it "virtually self-sufficient". "We manufacture our own equipment, produce the raw material for our products, turn the raw materials into finished products and then deliver them throughout the world via trucks we own and operate. There are only a few things, like cartons, that we don’t produce in-house. We even have our own printing capabilities and make our own ink!"
In 2006, Family Business ranked Dart Container 37th in their listing of family companies, with an estimated $1.1 billion in sales, and 4,950 employees.
Solo Cup Company
The company is owned by brothers Kenneth B. Dart and Robert C. Dart, who renounced their U.S. citizenship in 1994. Kenneth Dart then established a relationship with the nation of Belize, which promptly sought U.S. permission to open a consulate in Sarasota with Dart as its consul. The request was rejected by the State Department, and the brothers eventually moved to the Cayman Islands. They have several business concerns on the islands, including Dart Enterprises which is a holding company involved in several projects, including the Camana Bay town development.
In 2001, the US Internal Revenue Service said the Dart brothers improperly billed $11.6 million of personal security costs to Dart Container. In U.S. Tax Court, Dart Container argued the money was a valid business expense due to "specific threats and other facts and circumstances". Half the money went for corporate aircraft. The IRS asked for $4 million more for 1996 and 1997 taxes. In 2003, the Internal Revenue Service took the brothers to court, saying they owed an additional $19 million in 1998 and 1999 taxes. In 2002, the Dart brothers and their companies paid $26 million in back taxes.
In May 2013, fifty agents of the Argentine tax authority raided the local Dart Container subsidiary Dart Sudamericana SRL on alleged tax evasion charges. The tax authority claimed that the firm imported polystrene beads at inflated prices, thus avoiding taxable gains through the unfair transfer pricing scheme.
Relation to other notable Darts
- Company website
- Hoovers factsheet
- Lansing Business Monthly
- Incorporated 1960 by W. A. Dart
- Top Family Businesses Archived 2006-08-23 at the Wayback Machine.
- Dart Solo Acquisition
- Solo Cup Dart Container Purchase
- Forbes Informer
- (http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/15/business/fi-perfin15 The US Cracks Down on Rich Tax Evaders)
- Their cups runneth over
- Dart Enterprises
- Camana Bay - The Team
- Argentina Raids Dart Styrofoam Maker Over Tax Evasion Charges