DS Smith Plc's Plastics division has now been officially acquired by Liquibox Corp., a portfolio company of Olympus Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. The acquisition of the Plastics division was completed on the February 27, the companies announced.
For Olympus Partners, the acquisition is an important step. “And we plan to continue to invest in the business in support of its growth strategy said Manu Bettegowda, a partner at Olympus Partners. “Liquibox is a core holding.”
The acquired division includes both rigid and flexible packaging businesses and the combined companies will have 35 manufacturing facilities and a global workforce of nearly 3,000 employees. The division has subsequently been split in four ways, with the flexible packaging business - known as Rapak - and Worldwide Dispensers becoming part of Liquibox, and being consolidated into the Liquibox brand.
The three rigid packaging business segments have been renamed and are to operate as independent businesses under the new ownership structure. DS Smith Plastics, Extruded Products, will henceforth operate as Corplex; the new name of DS Smith Plastics, Injection Moulded Products is DW Reusables; and DS Smith Plastics, Foam Products, which operates from four manufacturing sites located in the United Kingdom, has been rebranded Engineered Foam Products.
“The new structure and brand identity of these businesses further supports our strategy and commitment to lead the way with sustainable packaging solutions,” Ken Swanson, CEO of Liquibox.
The new extrusion company Corplex operates out of seven sales and manufacturing facilities in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Slovakia and the USA. The market leader for fluted extruded products, the company says it is now ‘ideally positioned’ to partner with customers and to develop the innovative solutions needed to transition into a circular economy.
“At Corplex, we have a great story to tell around sustainability and closed loop distribution systems,” said Daniel Rohrmus, Chief Commercial Officer. “Our products are lightweight and designed to be durable, reusable, recyclable to help our customers reduce their environmental carbon footprint with less waste and less emissions. For our customers, there will be no change other than our new name.”
DW Reusables, formerly DS Smith Plastics, Injection Moulded Products, is the European leader in injection moulded packaging such as reusable beverage crates and pallets. Headquartered in Bilzen, Belgium, DW Reusables has three other facilities in Croatia, Poland and Spain from where they serve customers in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America.
The name DW Reusables dates back to the company’s beginnings in 1964. By adding ‘reusables’ to the new name, the company is emphasising its expertise in closed-loop systems and sustainable, reusable and recyclable injection moulded packaging solutions, such as its Loop Ready Packaging (LRP) options. LRPs are robust, re-usable, returnable, and fully recyclable packaging options. Consumers pay a small deposit on the LRP when making their purchase, the amount of which is subsequently refunded when the packaging and jars are returned to the store.
Going forward, the company will continue to support customers in this area, capitalising on growing environmental concerns and increasing interest in sustainability.
“We’ve worked with many of our customers for decades, they know the DW brand, and they know that it is synonymous with great service, great innovations and great reusable products with exceptionally long-life spans that are fully reusable and recyclable,” said DW Reusables CEO Paul Baeyens.
“I guess you could say that we are re-using the DW brand as DW Reusables!”