In a statement, Webtech (NI) – Americk is its wider holding company – said that Primopost had sought a strategic partnership for some time to take its business to the next level, in terms of investment and market insight, and that Primopost had welcomed the takeover.
The acquisition was formed part of Northern Ireland-based Americk’s strategic plan to turnover in excess of £100m (€118m) within its ‘flexible packaging’ group over the next three years – from a current level of £60m – Webtech (NI) marketing manager Linda Murray told FoodProductionDaily.com.
She added that the takeover also allowed for significant investments in infrastructure and machinery at Primopost’s Derbyshire plant, including the installation of a new printing press.
Murray said: “It’s very significant an investment of £2.5m will be put into the next press, and this should be installed in the next six to seven months.”
Webtech claimed that Primopost’s flexible packaging products were used in every UK supermarket, and noted that it was itself a European specialist in Reel-Fed OPP (Orientated Polypropylene Labelling) and also ran a flexographic printing facility.
While Webtech (NI) and Primopost had similar capabilities in this respect, they complemented each other due to differing markets, as Murray explained: “Primopost have very much focused on the food packaging industry, whereas Webtech’s main business is in the drinks area.
“80% of Webtech’s customers are in the soft drinks, water and dairy industries whereas Primopost would specialize in biscuit wrapping.” She added that Primopost’s customers were mainly UK-based, while 40% of Webtech’s clients were European.
Murray also cited ‘multi-site capabilities’ (shared between Primopost and Webtech) as one benefit of the takeover, and we asked her whether this allowed the group to better serve existing customers, as well as take on more business?“Yes absolutely and it also gives us greater purchasing capabilities with suppliers,”she said.
Quizzed as to whether demand for flexible packaging was growing in the food sector, Murray said:“The sector is not growing per se however we as a company are. We are increasingly seeing sales enquiries from developing world markets and are targeting new business on a daily basis.”
Nigel McSorley, managing director, Webtech (N.I) said: “This acquisition is a substantial boost for Primopost Limited, as it will enable strong growth through the group’s existing European position and help generate greater sales in the European marketplace for the group.”
“The purchase of Primopost Limited differentiates us from our competitors in terms of range of flexible packaging, production capabilities and capacity now multiple printing plants, one in Northern Ireland and one in mainland UK complementing each other."