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.