It has been a year of change and forward motion for Verstraete IML, a global supplier of in-mold labels headquartered in Maldegem, Belgium. According to company owner Koen Verstraete, in 2017 the company “saw growth” and continued to “invest significantly” in its Belgian production sites in order to increase capacity and reduce lead times for the company’s global customers. Meanwhile, at the end of October, parent company Constantia Flexibles announced the sale of its labels division, which includes Verstraete IML, to Multi-Color Corp. (MCC; Batavia, OH).
|Koen Verstraete (right) and Dieter Maes.|
“We believe there is a promising future for Verstraete IML with our new partner MCC,” said Verstraete. “Multi-Color Corp. is entirely focused on labels and, therefore, fits our core activity perfectly. Furthermore, MCC has 70 operational sites worldwide. That gives us opportunities to increase our global presence. In addition, at Verstraete IML our strength lies in injection molding and thermoforming IML, while MCC is big in blowmolding IML. By combining our technological know-how we are able to create new opportunities. Last but not least, MCC is a U.S.-based group and America remains an important growth market for IML.”
Verstraete IML plans to “significantly expand” its market presence in North America. Prior to the sale, Verstraete was planning an additional production site in Clarksville, TN, belonging to a sister company of Constantia Flexibles. “However, as soon as the sale of Constantia Labels was announced, we put these plans on hold,” commented Verstraete.
Following the acquisition by Multi-Color, Verstraete conducted a joint study and moved its expansion plans to a building belonging to Multi-Color in Batavia, near Cincinnati.
Dieter Maes, Business Development and Marketing Manager for Verstraete IML, commented: “The location suits our clients better and Cincinnati is a large metropolis. In this way, we hope to attract the right staff more easily. The only disadvantage is that this means a delay to the opening of the new production site in North America by a few months.”
Verstraete added, “We plan to be operational in the second quarter of 2018 rather than at the end of 2017, as originally planned. We are already looking forward to informing our clients in North and South America in detail about our U.S. production site during NPE in May 2018.”