3i Group plc (“3i”), the international investment manager, has agreed to invest approximately €250 million (c. £183million) in Weener Plastic Packaging Group (“the Company” or “WPPG”), a leading manufacturer of innovative plastic packaging systems for the world’s leading FMCG companies and private label manufacturers. The former shareholder Lindsay Goldberg Vogel has sold its stake in WPPG.
WPPG designs, develops and manufactures added value caps, closures, roll-on balls, jars and bottles for the personal care, food and beverage, and home care market. Headquartered in Weener, Germany, the Company operates in close proximity to its customers with a production network of 24 locations in 15 countries and approx. 2,000 employees across the world. WPPG supplies a well balanced customer portfolio with blue-chip names such as Beiersdorf, Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oréal, Nestlé, P&G and Unilever.
The Company is well positioned within the structurally growing, rigid plastics packaging market and has an excellent track record of growth; it generated sales of approximately €270 million in 2014 and achieved a CAGR of c.8% between 2010-2014. 3i will support the management team to secure further sustainable growth using its existing innovation-led platform, investing in its successful international expansion strategy and continuing its operational improvement initiatives. Furthermore, 3i will use its international network, experience and capital to help WPPG accelerate its growth by pursuing a buy-and-build strategy to expand into adjacent product categories and new geographies such as Emerging Markets.
Through 3i’s Business Leaders’ Network, Leslie Van de Walle, a former CEO of Rexam, will join the Advisory Board as Chairman; Leslie brings deep sector knowledge and contacts in the packaging sector. The 3i team consisted of members from Germany, the Benelux, the Nordics and the UK, who worked closely together on the deal.
Ulf von Haacke, 3i Managing Director and Head of Industrial, 3i Private Equity, commented:
“WPPG’s focus on innovation and superior technical know-how is a huge competitive advantage. The Company has a leading position in its core markets and we look forward to working with the strong management team to further increase the Company’s market share and global footprint through a buy-and-build strategy.”
Roel Zeevat, CEO of WPPG, said: “WPPG’s strong track record of innovation and our competitive position were attractive to 3i. With the support of 3i, we will be able to take our company’s development to the next level by fostering growth, expanding our global footprint, continuing to build our innovation leadership and further improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. We look forward to all that we will achieve together as we welcome 3i as our new investor.”