Northwood & Wepa has acquired the former GB&I Georgia-Pacific private label tissue business from SCA.
Northwood & Wepa is a joint venture made up of the shareholders of Northwood Paper Sales, the Fecher family, and the Krengel family, the shareholders of the Wepa Group.
The move was made on 1 May and makes Northwood & Wepa the UK’s third largest manufacturer of private label, toilet tissue and kitchen towel serving the major retailers consumer market.
Chairman and managing director of Northwood and Associated Companies Paul Fecher told TW: “The opportunity to acquire the Bridgend facility producing e-Tad Tissue with its modern converting operations gives the plant a solid platform for further growth.
“The business under independent management guided by us will bring significant opportunities for the UK and Ireland private label clients.”
The structure will allow Northwood & Wepa to operate independently and will continue to focus on the needs of the private label sector.
Martin Krengel, chief executive of the Wepa Group, added: “Additional products will be added to satisfy the needs of our clients. Whilst the business will operate as an independent business unit it is welcome to share resources from both joint venture partner’s other operations.
“Over the past few years both joint venture partners have investigated a number of acquisition opportunities some have been completed, we are pleased that this acquisition was successfully concluded and meets our criteria on grounds of quality dedicated employees and also enhances our market coverage.”
For the shareholders of the Northwood companies the acquisition expands the overall business now including consumer products, and Northwood is now able to offer the full range of finished products in e-Tad and conventional tissue for every sector of the consumer and AfH markets.
For the Krengel family, already a major supplier in mainland Europe of private label products as well as in the AfH markets, the acquisition means an independent UK market presence by providing local manufacture across the market.
The UK was one area where local production was identified by the joint venture partners as being essential.
The acquisition was facilitated by a European Commission ruling.
The Northwood Paper Sales companies also consists of Connect Hygiene Products, Disley Tissue, Peter Grant Papers, Lancaster Tissue, Northwood Recycling and Northwood Logistics, all of which serve the hygienic sector with the full assortment of parent reels as well as AfH converted products.
The Northwood companies employ some 350 people throughout the UK with annual sales of €150 million.
The three Krengel brothers are shareholders of the WEPA businesses with recycled and virgin tissue as well as hand towel base paper making and converting factories in Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and France.
The company works mainly in the continental private label sector as well as serving the AfH markets. The businesses employ some 2,700 people across Europe with annual sales of €900 million.
SCA’s divestments of former G-P units approved
Last month, SCA said that in conjunction with the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations during 2012, the EU Commission imposed requirements concerning the divestment of certain units within consumer tissue.
The EU Commission has now approved the divestments.
The requirements imposed by the EU Commission included the sale of parts of Georgia-Pacific’s former operations in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries, and certain operations in the Scandinavian region.
The branded business in the UK, Ireland and the Benelux countries is being sold to Sofidel. The production facility in Horwich, UK, is included in this transaction.
The retailer brand businesses in the UK and Ireland are being sold to Northwood & Wepa. The production facility in Bridgend, UK, is included in this transaction.
Parts of the Nordic retailer brand business have been sold to Vajda Papir. The production facility in Drammen, Norway, is included in the transaction, together with a conversion line from the facility in Nokia, Finland.
These operations together represent total sales of about EUR 200m and the combined purchase consideration is approximately EUR 100m.