ProAmpac has made its fourth UK acquisition of the year as it looks to continue its private equity-backed push into the European market.

The deal for Ultimate Packaging means the US-headquartered group’s UK business now has sales of more than £160m.

Grimsby, Lincolnshire-based Ultimate specialises in flexible food packaging. According to its latest accounts, to 29 February 2020, 245-staff Ultimate had sales of £50.8m from which it generated a pre-tax profit of £3m.

“Ultimate Packaging’s innovative team and high-quality flexible packaging portfolio are exciting complements to ProAmpac’s growing family. As we expand our reach across the UK, this combination will help us better serve our customers with an enhanced offering of recyclable and compostable solutions,” said Greg Tucker, ProAmpac founder and CEO.

The business operates two divisions, flexo focused Ultimate Packaging and Ultimate Digital, which runs two HP Indigo 20000 digital presses.

The group’s founder Nigel Tonge said: “As a family-owned business, it was important for us to select a partner who shared our values, commitment to innovation and philosophy of partnership with our customers. We are pleased to work together with Greg and the ProAmpac team to extend our collective market leadership and provide tremendous value to our customers.”

The group’s management team, led by managing director Jeremy Hodson, will remain with the business, which will adopt ProAmpac branding.

The deal for Ultimate is ProAmpac’s fifth acquisition this year, four of which have been centered on the UK market.

In January the group announced it had acquired Rapid Action Packaging (RAP), which has a design and technical team based in Wimbledon, with manufacturing in Donegal, Ireland.

While in March it also acquired Brigg-based IG Industries and Brayford Plastics in Dunholme. The two Lincolnshire firms manufacture flexible packaging for the bakery, meat, fish, poultry and fresh produce markets across the UK and Western Europe.

Prior to its 2021 acquisition spree, the group’s UK interests were focused on its facility in Melbourn, near Royston, that makes tamper evident bags and mailing bags. It also has operations in Germany and Switzerland.

ProAmpac has multiple sites across North America. It specialises in flexible packaging including sacks and pouches, made using paper, plastics, and foils.

In April, it expanded its US operations with the addition of El Dorado Packaging and it’s three US facilities, which specialise in consumer and industrial multi-wall packaging sacks.

The spike in M&A activity follows ProAmpac’s private-equity investor Pritzker Private Capital along with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC adding new investment to help the business “pursue future strategic growth opportunities”.


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