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Plastics packaging: With sale of five business units, focus at Linpac is on packaging

The focus is now entirely on its core business of primary food packaging and returnable crates/containers as Linpac Group has sold five of its stand-alone, non-core business units to funds managed by Chamonix Private Equity, a London-based private equity firm.

Linpac Group Ltd. is a €1.3 billion business with a global presence, serving a wide variety of market sectors - from retailing and food production to the public sector, and from automotive manufacturing to fishing. More than 90% of the Group's sales are generated through the processing and sale of plastic food packaging, rigid plastic shipping containers, packaging film and returnable transit packaging. (MPW visited one of Linpac Plastics' foamed tray thermoforming facilities some years ago and reported back on that; here the article on tray thermoforming at Linpac.)

The business units sold are Linpac Storage Systems, Linpac Environmental, Linpac Recycling, Intellident and Linpac Metal Decorating.  All are based in the United Kingdom, although Intellident also has a small presence in France and the Netherlands.  Neither party would reveal the price paid for the units but together the five business units generated a little under 6% of Linpac's total Group revenues, and employed a total of approximately 450 people, or 6% of the entire workforce. 

Commenting on the sale, John Darlington, executive chairman of Linpac Group, said, "We have sold five non-core business units, and are using the funds to pay-down debt.  Even operations that are non-core require management attention, however, and the disposals have therefore released senior management time for use elsewhere in the business.  It also means that we will be able to concentrate investment on our core activities in future."

Two of the business units sold had direct ties to the plastics industry. Linpac Environmental manufactures and markets plastic litter, recycling and street furniture products for the public and private sectors, as well as a range of agricultural products, including for rainwater harvesting. Linpac Recycling recycles post-use rigid plastic into specified recycled compounds to supplant prime for molding applications and end-markets.

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