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May 25, 2000

Governor Applauds Solo Cup and ServiceMaster for Landing Business Deals in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- Governor George H. Ryan today commended two Illinois-based companies, Solo Cup and ServiceMaster, for reaching business agreements with South African companies.

Solo Cup has reached an agreement to produce plastic cups for South African Breweries, while ServiceMaster has signed a letter of intent with Sirius Development Foundation to provide support services for hospitals across South Africa.

"The reason I embarked on this trade mission to South Africa was to help enhance trade opportunities for Illinois companies throughout the sub-Saharan region," Ryan said. "The business deals that Solo Cup and ServiceMaster have reached underscore the importance of building bridges to new markets and demonstrate the need for Illinois to aggressively pursue new opportunities for international commerce."

Under the Solo Cup agreement, the Chicago-based company will provide South African Breweries with plastic cups carrying the logo of Castle Beer. South African Breweries is the world's fourth largest brewer.

The business deal that Solo Cup reached in South Africa comes almost a year after the company agreed to build a new manufacturing facility at the site of the long-vacant USX complex on Chicago's south side. That $109 million project will bring 550 jobs to the area and spark redevelopment of the long-vacant USX complex. Under the ServiceMaster agreement, the company will train officials from Sirius Development and work with the company on strategies to manage non-medical services in South African hospitals more efficiently.

Servicemaster currently operates in 41 countries. The business deal reached this week in South Africa is the first for the company in the sub-Saharan region.


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