Unilever and Seri Plast, a subsidiary of Seri Industrial are investing around €75M in the formation of a 50/50 newco that will see the industrial relaunch of the plant owned by Unilever in Pozzilli, Italy as a recycling operation.
The deal safeguards the plant from closure and rescues the jobs of the 160 employees currently employed there.
The plant will be acquired by Seri Plast and converted into a sophisticated recycling facility for the undifferentiated fraction of post-consumer packaging (plasmix) with an annual capacity of around 130 thousand tons, in full compliance with recent European and Italian directives. It will be the first of its kind in Italy.
Other provisions of the deal included guidelines for signing the shareholder agreements under which Seri Plast will appoint the management of the newco, as well as an option allowing Seri Plast to increase its stake in the joint venture. In addition, Unilever will commit to signing a contract for the offtake of the products produced by the newco. At the site, sustainable packaging for personal care and home hygiene products will be produced, as well as sustainable food packaging solutions. The agreement will support the aims of Unilever’s “Clean Future” programme, that calls, among others, for halving its use of virgin plastic by 2025 in its packaging.
The Italian Ministry of Economic Development - MISE - handled the negotiations between the parties and verifying the feasibility of the initiative.
During a Zoom meeting at which the announcement was made, Deputy Minister for Economic Development Alessandra Todde called the initiative an ‘ecological transition’ and a model that could be used internationally as well.
“We have worked to avoid the closure of the plant and identify the best solution and to guarantee the area a solid future from an economic, employment and environmental point of view,” she said.
“The fact that a multinational such as Unilever not only does not disengage, but remains a shareholder in the new company and actively participates, being the first customer, demonstrates the importance of betting courageously on new models.”
Seri Industrial S.p.A. is on the MTA market of Borsa Italiana. Its mission is to accelerate the energy transition to sustainability and decarbonisation.