After an 18 month period of consolidation, DS Smith has confirmed the total acquisition of Rapak Asia Pacific, formerly a 50 per cent owned joint venture with AEP Industries.
Rapak Asia Pacific is a leader in bag-in-box liquid packaging systems based in Australia and New Zealand, operating throughout Asia Pacific. Rapak Asia Pacific is managed within the Liquid Packaging and Dispensing segment (turnover c. €140m) of DS Smith's Plastics Division.
In November 2001, DS Smith formed the joint venture with AEP as part of its strategic development of a global liquid packaging company. The organisation incorporated the bag-in-box resources of AEP's Auckland based Liquipac business together with Visy Films & Laminate's Liquid Bag Systems business based in Feilding and Melbourne.
Since its formation, DS Smith and AEP have worked in close collaboration to support Rapak Asia Pacific's regional development, culminating in the completion of a new 5,500 square metre manufacturing facility in Penrose, Auckland, to strengthen further its ability to service customers in this important trading area. The state-of-the-art factory is said to work to clean manufacturing standards which are designed to meet the future requirements of the food and beverage markets of Asia Pacific. In addition, a filling machine manufacture and customer service centre has been established in Port Melbourne, Australia.
Rapak and AEP Industries have said that they will continue to maintain "a very close working relationship" within the framework of the Strategic Alliance established in November 2001, developing packaging systems and solutions for the market and providing an extensive range of specialised flexible packaging products and bag-in-box systems.
Graham Barker, Divisional Director of DS Smith Plastics, said: "This is an extremely positive and natural progression of the excellent relationship we have with AEP and it enables both of our companies to specialise in our chosen fields. The investment in Rapak Asia Pacific's operations and the synergy we now have between all our liquid packaging companies means that customers worldwide can now choose Rapak as their single business partner for all their bag-in-box, filling systems and dispensing requirements."