Germany's Melitta buys up Italian flexpack producer Cuki Group

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Photo by Melitta

Old established Minden-based Melitta has agreed to purchase a 100% stake in Cuki, the parent group of the leading Italian food packaging and garbage bags producer Cuki Cofresco SpA., for an undisclosed sum. 

This deal, still subject to competition and other official approval, will expand Melitta’s international footprint, including into the Italian market and grow the group’s household products business. 

The two companies are already close: Melitta has held an 18% share in Cuki Cofresco for the past 20 years. 

In addition, the purchase will help settle an ongoing financial restructuring process at the indebted Cuki Group which has battled to clear debt of up to €250m since 2006, according to Cuki’s chairman and chief executive Corrado Ariaudo.

Commenting on the takeover, he said the deal is “an important recognition” of the value of Cuki’s results by Melitta, a multinational company. 

“(The transaction also) successfully completes the combined restructuring and development process carried out by the company, ...... respecting the terms of the difficult financial debt reduction plan from over €250 million in 2006 to the current €67 million which will be refinanced with the support of Melitta,” he said in a statement.

Sixty-year-old Cuki Group produces a range of ‘Cuki’ and ‘Domopak’ brand film and aluminium flexible packaging for food along with storage and rubbish bags, mainly for the Italian market. It employs 503 and generated 2017 turnover of around €200m. 

The firm runs three Italian plants in Pontinia, Nervesa della Battaglia and Frosinone; a plant in Istanbul, Turkey serving markets in the Balkans and the Middle East, as well as a unit for paperboard and aluminium containers at La Terrasse near Grenoble in France. 

In addition, Cuki Cofresco has a 50% joint venture stake with a local partner in a newly launched operation in Poland, Cuki Alfatec in Poznan focused on Eastern European customers. 

Melitta welcomed the takeover. “With Cuki Group, we have found a company that fits our existing portfolio with its product range, has a similar understanding of quality and shares the same the same values as a family business,” commented chief financial officer Kurt Groh.

Melitta, a specialist maker of coffee service products, including manufacturing filter coffee machines in China, produces a range of packaging such as clingfilm, freezer bags, coffee filters and metal wrapping foil. It has other plants in Germany, Poland, Brazil and the US.
The group, which employs a growing workforce now over 4,580, saw its sales jump 11% to €1.54 billion during a successful 2017 financial year.

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