Plastic packaging firm RPC Group plc announced two unrelated acquisitions Dec. 15, buying European firm ESE World BV from Stirling Square Capital Partners and purchasing South African plastics processor Astrapak Ltd.
Higham Ferrers, England-based RPC said the purchase of ESE for 262.5 million euros ($274.7 million) would let it enter the waste storage container market, including for local governments and private waste haulers, and bring two factories, in Germany and France, and a research center in Germany, within RPC.
“The acquisition of ESE provides yet another good opportunity for RPC to expand its product offering with a quality growth platform in Europe,” said CEO Pim Vervaat, in a statement. “The combination will further enhance the group's overall scale creating good opportunities for procurement and efficiency strategies.”
ESE, based in Maastricht, the Netherlands, has 600 employees and annual sales of more than 200 million euros ($209.3 million). RPC said that ESE CEO Björn Hedenström will continue to lead the business, which will operate as an independent unit within the RPC Promens division.
RPC said it's smaller — in financial terms — purchase of Astrapak, for 79 million pounds ($98.7 million), gives it a foothold into the sub-Saharan market.
Astrapak, which is traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, has 1,100 employees and nine factories for blow molding, injection molding and thermoforming in South Africa.
In a statement, Vervaat called the acquisition of Astrapak “an important step in realizing RPC's strategy to create a meaningful presence outside of Europe.”
“Astrapak's strong market position in South Africa will complement and enhance RPC's existing operations in the region, an increasingly important territory for us, and also offers an exciting opportunity to develop a platform from which to serve the high growth sub-Saharan African market,” he said.
The company called Astrapak a “mini-RPC” with expertise across several plastics processing technologies, and said it would help extend RPC's contact with existing major international customers.
Astrapak is based near Durban, South Africa. RPC said Astrapak CEO Robin Moore will continue to lead that business, which will operate as a unit of RPC Superfos.