Dublin packaging firm Americk to be bought by Spanish group

Deal with Saica follows sale of Clondakin Group’s remaining flexible packaging unit

Clondalkin-based packaging company Americk, a maker of labels and cartons for high-volume consumer goods with sales of about €122 million, is set to be acquired by Spanish packaging group Saica.

The move comes a month after another Irish flexible packaging business, the remaining business of the Clondalkin Group, was sold by its owners, US private equity firm Warburg Pincus, to Dutch investment firm Egeria in a deal estimated to be worth as much as €250 million.

Americk, which makes plastic labels for drinks bottles and printed cartons for tea and biscuits, was set up in 1980s by entrepreneur Patrick Doran and currently has six plants in Ireland and the UK, employing 691 people.

The company’s chief executive, Patrick Doran jnr, who drove the company’s growth through acquisition in the UK in the past decade, is believed to be remaining at the helm of the business after the acquisition goes through.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This agreement allows us to enter the flexible packaging market in Ireland and the UK more actively, hand in hand with a leading player," said Ramon Alejandro, president of Saica.

Saica was advised by UK-based Catalyst Corporate Finance, while IBI Corporate Finance advised Americk Packaging.

Piecemeal break-up

Meanwhile, Warburg Pincus’s deal to sell the last part of the Clondalkin Group brings to €800 million the amount generated from the piecemeal break-up and sale of the business in recent years. Warburg Pincus acquired 86 per cent of Clondalkin in 2006 for €630 million, with the remainder held by management and staff.

In January 2015, Clondalkin completed the $455 million sale of its specialist packaging division, which focuses on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, to UK plastics and fibre products company Essentra.

In 2013, it sold two non-core divisions for €145 million as it sought to pay down some of its debt under a refinancing of the business.

Warburg Pincus had been seeking to sell the remaining flexible packaging business since early last year, having drawn initial bids for the operation, which makes yoghurt pot lids and sweet wrappers, in May 2015.

The unit posted €32.3 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year, which was little changed from 2014, even as revenues rose to €396.1 million from €371.2 million.

Analysts estimate the business was worth up to €250 million, including debt. At the end of 2015, Clondalkin had €122.5 million of senior loans, owned €91 million to its parent, mainly in rolled-up interest payments, and had almost €50 million of cash on its balance sheet.

The business has 11 manufacturing sites in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and US supplying more than 45 countries.

Clondalkin chief executive Paddy Mullaney said in a statement posted on the company's website last month that the sale "will further facilitate Clondalkin's continued business development and expansion".

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