The intention is for ACF and GPL’s BUs to be 100% owned by the new holding company and a new executive established.
Over the last few years, both companies have invested heavily in world-class technology – ACF has invested some R250-million in expanded capacity in Africa while GPL’s recent spend of around US$15-million has seen significant equipment upgrades, including a Rotomec nine-colour gravure press, a Nordmeccanica Duplex laminator, a Windmöller &Hölscher Varex five-layer blown film line, and a custom-built solvent-recovery plant (see PPM June 2014). In addition, infrastructure upgrades have enabled further efficiency improvements.
The combined group intends maintaining its technology leadership position and to develop new supply chain efficiencies in order to offer customers strategic partnership opportunities – indeed to become Africa’s flexible packaging partner of choice.
Everything – from in-house cylinder engraving, blown film extrusion, extrusion coating, lamination, wide-web gravure and flexographic printing, narrow-web label printing, and a multitude of finishing options – is now on offer to Africa’s rapidly-developing flexible packaging market.
Post-merger and in the short term, the focus will be on consolidation and optimising the combined assets to improve product offerings, while in the longer term the group will continue its Africa growth strategy by investing in existing or new regional markets in support of customers’ pan-African growth aspirations.
The new group will also continue Afripack’s and GPL’s strong tradition of innovating and offering pioneering flexible packaging solutions using the latest technologies and providing the most cost-effective solutions for the African market.
It’s proposed that the new executive will be led by Arnold Vermaak.
According to Arnold, the relationship between Afripack and GPL has developed over several years and the merger is an important enabler for further combined growth into African markets.
‘Our proposed partnership with GPL provides significant momentum towards our vision of becoming Africa’s preferred flexibles supplier,’ he maintains. ‘A complete overview of plans, structures and timing will be announced once all necessary approvals have been obtained.’
Undoubtedly, this is going to be a story worth watching!