A packaging firm with two North East factories has been acquired in a £100m deal.
Benson Group, specialists in food and healthcare packaging with operations in Newcastle and Gateshead, has been sold to US group Graphic Packaging International by private equity firm LDC and its management in the multi-million pound deal.
Founded in 1920, Benson is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of printed folding carton and sleeve packaging, operating from a head office in Leiceistershire and with manufacturing sites on Tyneside and in Crewe.
The company, which employs 900 people and has a turnover of £120 million, makes packaging for a host of well-known firms and brands, including Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benkiser, Greencore and Samworth Brothers.
This buyout comes just over two years after LDC, the private equity firm of Lloyds Banking Group, backed an MBO of the business from the founding family.
Graphic Packaging International, a leading provider of packaging solutions to the food, beverage and other consumer markets, said the buyout strengthens the firm’s growing position in the European printed folding carton market.
David Scheible, chairman, president and chief executive, said: “I am delighted to announce that Benson Group will now form part of Graphic Packaging’s growing presence in Europe.
“Benson Group has a great reputation, world-class assets, and a very effective management team. This acquisition is a key part of our strategic growth plan, and will give us a strong position in the convenience / retail market to complement our core strengths in consumer and beverage.”
Mark Kerridge, managing director of Benson Group, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Benson Group to become part of Graphic Packaging’s ambitious growth plans for Europe.
“Graphic’s excellence in operations partnered with Benson Group’s success through unrivalled customer service will be a great combination.
2We are looking forward to working within an enlarged European business to deliver the benefits of both to our customers and achieve further success.”