Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging Holding Co. is strengthening its position in Europe through the acquisition of a U.K.-based competitor for $165 million funded by cash and debt.

Based in Leicestershire, the Benson Group has four carton folding operations across the United Kingdom and annual sales of $200 million, bringing the European sales of the combined companies to more than $700 million. 

Graphic Packaging sees the acquisition as complementing its existing European food and beverage business and generating $5 to $7 million in cost savings through integration over the next 18 months. It also helps the company enter into the store-brand market. 

In 2012 Graphic Packaging went on a buying spree in Europe, purchasing a Swedish company’s beer packaging operations and Contegro Packaging Holdings Ltd., which had plants in the U.K. and the Netherlands

Graphic Packaging posted profits of $146.6 million in 2014, a 22 percent jump from the previous year, on $4.4 billion in sales during 2013. The company employs more than 15,000 people around the world. 

Read more on the company’s financial performance here

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...