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Pact Group bringing forward new packaging, looking at acquisitions

By: Kate Tilley

July 15, 2014

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Australian packaging company Pact Group Ltd.’s high density polyethylene milk bottle design is on its way to amassing a trophy cabinet full of awards.

The bottles — used by Auckland, New Zealand-based dairy Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. since April 2013 — were judged best product from New Zealand at the World Tour by Sial product awards in Paris.

The annual awards, previously known as the Sial d’Or Awards, recognize the world’s most innovative new food industry products.

Melbourne-based Pact Group’s LightProof brand bottles will now compete against other global products for major awards presented at the annual Sial exhibition in Paris in October.

Sydney-based Good Design Australia Pty. Ltd. also awarded the bottles a good design selection award in the packaging and graphics category of its annual awards.

Fonterra was a finalist in the best dairy packaging innovation category in the 2014 World Dairy Innovation Awards for the Pact-designed bottles.

The annual awards, presented in Istanbul, Turkey, last month, are run by Bath, England-based FoodBev Media Ltd.

The bottles are manufactured from triple-layer HDPE which preserves milk and cream’s nutritional value and taste by protecting the bottles’ contents from sunlight and retailers’ refrigerator lights. A black layer of HDPE is sandwiched between two white layers.

Last month, Pact signed a long-term extension to two technology licensing agreements with Copenhagen-based RPC Superfos Ltd. that will allow it to continue its exclusive access in Australia and New Zealand to “leading-edge technology and know how,” including future developments, in thin wall injection molding.

The extensions apply to Pact subsidiaries, Dunedin, New Zealand-based Tecpak Industries Ltd. and Melbourne-based VIP Plastic Packaging Pty. Ltd.

Pact Group has more than bottles driving its growth, though. The company is nearing the commercial launch of a plastic paint pail product, Perfect Paint Pail, developed by its design division, Inpact Innovation Pty. Ltd.

Inpact is a standalone division within Pact, with a team representing industrial designers, engineers, inventors and sustainability specialists.

And even as it is introducing new products Pact said in a presentation to the Australian stock exchange earlier this year that it is seeking acquisitions, especially in the Asian markets. It is especially focused on the potential acquisition of Indonesian plastics packaging company Dynapack Asia Pte. Ltd.

An Australian newspaper reported Dynapack is owned by Pact non-executive chairman Raphael Geminder’s private company Geminder Holdings and Indonesia’s Hambali family and had sales of A$235 million last year (US$220.7 million).

In May, Dynapack added to its operations when it bought a Chinese packaging company. The firm did not identify the name of the business it acquired.

Pact has blow molding, injection and compression molding and automated assembly processes of plastic packaging and components with 39 manufacturing plants across Australia, and another 23 in New Zealand, China, the Philippines and Thailand. There are 2,200 employees in Australia, 900 in New Zealand and 400 in Asia.

It reported sales of A$567.6 million (US$532.8 million) for the first half of its 2014 fiscal year.