2018 is proving to be a robust year for UK Packaging M&A, in terms of both deal volume and valuation levels.
Publically traded packaging companies continue to remain slightly above their long run average, supporting trade acquirer’s appetite to pursue M&A as a means to deliver synergies and to tap in to rising demand from certain end-sectors such as e-commerce, food and automotive, in particular. The period of consolidation that we have experienced in recent years is therefore continuing and, in 2018, this has been particularly evident in the paper packaging market. Europe’s largest paper packaging players, Smurfit Kappa, DS Smith and SAICA have all been actively expanding their geographical footprint though acquisition.
Private Equity, although perhaps less active in the UK over the last 18 months, when compared to previous periods, continues to play an important role in the wider packaging M&A landscape – as shown by US firm, Lindsay Goldberg’s €700m acquisition of Coveris’ Rigid Packaging division and Brookfield Business Partners acquisition of Schoeller Allibert Group.
2018 has also seen the ongoing development of a number of trends, such as the growing use of e-commerce compatible packaging materials, retailers continued adoption of shelf-ready packaging and, of course, greater demand for sustainable packaging.
In this edition of our UK Packaging M&A Market Review, we:
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