Germany's Gerresheimer Group GmbH is expanding its pharmaceutical packaging business with the acquisition of a majority stake in China's Shuangfeng Group.
Dusseldorf-based Gerresheimer bought a 60 percent stake in the Chinese glass vial manufacturer based in Danyang. Shuangfeng runs one plant nearby in Zhenyiang and a second production unit already is under construction, according to Gerresheimer.
The Chinese company, which employs 670, produces around 800 million vials a year and has annual sales of about 10 million euros (102.3 million yuan).
This acquisition is Gerresheimer's debut in the Chinese market with tubular glass packaging. The company also makes plastics packaging, and a spokesman said the deal provides a good base for targeted transfers of products to China ``and/or servicing of new low-price market segments.''
``We are consistently continuing our policy of targeted global purchases in the [pharmaceutical] sector. The acquisition marks another important step in the Chinese market and is part of the forward strategy through which we are rapidly expanding our pharma business in the high-growth Asian region,'' said Chief Executive Officer Axel Herberg.
Asked if Gerresheimer plans other acquisitions in China and Asia in general, a spokesman said: ``We keep our eyes on the Chinese and Asian markets.''
Late last year, Gerresheimer, already a maker of plastics products in Germany and Poland, acquired the pharmaceutical packaging interests of European rigid packaging group Superfos A/S. These include two container plants in Vaerlose and Haarby, both in Denmark.
Gerresheimer stepped into the Chinese arena last year when it bought a 45.7 percent stake in Beijing Wheaton, a molded glass specialist, now renamed Beijing Gerresheimer.