Finnish food and drink packaging giant Huhtamaki has acquired a majority stake in Co Clare-headquartered paper cup maker CupPrint for €22 million.
CupPrint was founded in 2009 by Terry Fox, a former Irish EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner.
The company, which produces about eight million cups a month, manufactures bespoke paper cups for small independent coffee shops as well as big brands such as Audi and Kraft Foods. Last year, the firm produced its 750-millionth cup.
Ennis-based CupPrint, which employs 112 people, has annual net sales of about €14 million.
Mr Fox was crowned winner of the emerging category at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2014.
Unlike traditional paper cup manufacturers, which used to only offer big orders of about 50,000 cups and delivery times of 10-16 weeks, CupPrint was established to offer a minimum order quantity of 1,000 cups for marketing companies and 5,000 for retail/cafes and a turnaround time of 15 days anywhere in Europe.
Most disposable plastic cups are 94 per cent paper but in most instances are lined with polyethylene coating. However, CupPrint has developed a product that replaces the plastic with a plant-based coating known as PLA.
Earlier this month, the company was named as one of two Irish firms to benefit from a decision by SuperValu and Centra to replace all non-recyclable, single-use cups with new compostable cups and lids for its 'Frank and Honest' brand.
Huhtamaki said it had acquired a 70 per cent stake in CupPrint on a debt-free basis for a cost of €22 million. It said the deal would improve its access to what is a growing market, as well as boosting its online commercial activity.
The Espoo-headquartered company has 17,600 employees across offices in 35 countries.