Italy's Karton group acquires Polish PP specialist panel maker Gekoplast

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Poland’s cellular polypropylene panel maker Gekoplast has been formally acquired by Italy’s K-Holding group, owner of the leading European PP corrugated sheet and transit packaging producer Karton SpA.

The merger, which took place in late January, sees the coming together of two successful European producers of PP sheet and rigid plastic packaging with a combined annual turnover in 2017 worth €100m, according to Gekoplast of Krupski Młyn in Upper Silesia.

Gekoplast was formed in 2010 through the merger of two old established plastics firms. The  merged enterprise, with production now at  plant in Krupski Mły,  has annual plant capacity of 18,000tpa. As well as its cellular PP panel boards, the firm makes a range of solid sheet using polyethylene, ABS, polystyrene and PMMA, corrugated sheet and plastics packaging.

The Polish extruder is now a major exporter and the leading PP panel producer in Central and Eastern Europe. It serves customers in the packaging, pharmaceutical, household goods and automotive markets.

“We have carried out a very large restructuring of the entire business, we have doubled production capacity, clearly reducing costs and increasing efficiency in a radical way,” recalled Piotr Górowski, Gekoplast’s management board president.

In recent years, the Polish business had seen development investments totalling around €11.83m from its investor owners.

Gekoplast was majority controlled by TFI Capital Partners, through its Capital Partners investment fund. Shares of the plastics company have been fully traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since May 2016.

The Karton group, founded as a cartonboard producer in 1967 by the Bressan family, is   based in Sacile, north eastern Italy. In a tender offer at the end of last year, it has successfully acquired 99.3% of Gekoplast shares and will withdraw it from the stock market taking it private.

Karton SpA. operates two plants. In Sacile, it has an extrusion and packaging production facility while nearby at San Giorgio di Nogaro the company runs an injection moulding and plastic pallets manufacturing unit.

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