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Austria's Alpla acquires SA's Boxmore Packaging in its biggest buy-out

Austrian plastic packaging company, Alpla, has purchased 100% of South African headquartered Boxmore Packaging, which specialises in PET pre-forms, PET bottles and closures, and currently employs around 1,000 members of staff at nine locations. The Boxmore acquisition is Alpla's fifth since the beginning of the year and its largest buy-out ever.
Boxmore CEO Len Engelbrecht, Alpla CEO Günther Lehner and Alpla’s regional director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey Christoph Riedlsperger.
“The African continent is an attractive growth market for us. With the purchase of Boxmore Packaging, we now also have a broad basis for entering the market in South Africa, in addition to our activities with ALPLA Taba in North Africa,” says Alpla CEO, Günther Lehner.

All employees and locations are being taken on by Alpla, although it has been decided that the management structure will remain the same. The current board, under the leadership of Len Engelbrecht, Boxmore CEO, will continue to manage the existing Boxmore business and in addition take on responsibility for the integration and management of the existing Alpla South African business. For the near future, the company will continue to operate under its existing name, as a member of the Alpla Group.

Footprint expansion

Founded in 1995, Boxmore Packaging is a provider of PET pre-forms and bottles (ISBM technology), as well as closures, in southern Africa. It currently manufactures approximately 4 billion products each year at nine production locations: one in Mauritius, one in Zambia and seven in South Africa. Its customers are situated in more than 20 African countries, as well as the Indian Ocean islands.

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“Both the products and customer structure of Boxmore Packaging suit our corporate structure well,” says Christoph Riedlsperger, Alpla’s regional director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey. Its active customer base includes numerous international consumer goods companies and long-term customers of Alpla, but also local customers previously unknown to Alpla.

“With this acquisition, the biggest in the history of the company, we are taking a significant step towards our targets on the African continent.”

Engelbrecht is delighted with this strategic partnership, saying, “Our combined ambition to prioritise growth in Africa is an exciting opportunity and one that we will be exploring through the company’s current footprint and existing relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Alpla in Africa

Alpla has operated a production location in Johannesburg since 2014. At the end of 2015, it took over the Egyptian location of Argo SA in El Obour. In March 2016, it strengthened its market presence in North Africa and the Middle East, through a joint venture with the Egyptian Taba Group. Since early 2017, the company has operated under the name Alpla Taba. In spring 2017, Alpla Taba opened a new location in 10th of Ramadan City that meets state-of-the-art production standards. With the locations of Boxmore Packaging, the group now owns 13 production facilities in Africa.

The takeover was signed on 5 July 2017, however, implementation remains subject to the required legal and regulatory approval by the competition authorities. The contract parties have reached a confidentiality agreement regarding the financial details.

Alpla has around 18,300 employees at 172 locations across 45 countries, producing packaging for brands in the food, beverage, cosmetics and cleaning industries.