The acquisitions will complement the company's steps it took to expand its business in the region
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) completed the takeover of Bulgarian corrugated board and packaging manufacturer Balkanpack on 1 March this year. Balkanpack supplies corrugated packaging to the food, agricultural, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical industries and has recently upgraded production facilities, Smurfit Kappa says. It has an extensive customer base in its domestic market. As an additional advantage, Smurfit Kappa appreciates Balkanpack's specialisation in large volume packaging and industrial packaging. With its corrugated board and packaging plant in Kazanlak, the company is well placed to serve the Plovdiv industrial region as well as the Northern Greece and Turkey industrial markets.
In addition, Smurfit Kappa has recently announced its intention to take over Vitavel, also a Bulgarian manufacturer of corrugated board and corrugated board packaging, and has submitted a corresponding application to the Bulgarian antitrust authority CPC, whose decision is still pending. Vitavel is a large facility with a diversified customer base in both conventional and laminated packaging, Smurfit Kappa explains. The company's location north of Sofia offers great potential as a partner for Smurfit Kappa's operation in northern Greece in the high-margin litho-laminated market segment.
Smurfit Kappa expects the acquisition of the two Bulgarian companies to strengthen its market position in the Balkan region. The company sees its advantages in particular in the interaction with the paper and corrugated board manufacturers Fabrika Hartije Beograd (FHB) and Avala Ada, recently acquired from the Kappa Star Group in Serbia, and the corrugated paper plant in Thessaloniki, Greece, which it acquired in November 2017. The new plants will not only create a platform for own growth on the Bulgarian market, but also the opportunity to better integrate the 120,000 tpy production capacity for recovered corrugated case material at the Belgrade mill.
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