DS Smith to divest plastics division

By: Shahrzad Pourriahi

7 December 2018

UK Packaging firm DS Smith has announced plans to sell its plastics division and is now “exploring opportunities”.
In its half-year financial statement 6 Dec, the company said following an initial review it had concluded that the business was “an attractive asset with good growth prospect”.
With £327m (€367m) sales in the fiscal year ended 30 April, the business accounts for 5% overall sales of the total group, according to Greg Dawson, director of corporate affairs.
The company launched a strategic review of the business in June through which it generated  “a significant amount of interest”, Dawson told PNE 7 Dec.
The business has been valued by the market at around £500m (€561m), but Dawson declined to comment.
The London-based company treated the division as “discontinued” in its half-year financial report, covering the six months to end of October, but according to Dawson that did not mean that a sales process had begun. 
“We are currently studying all the options and I can tell you that there have been a lot interested parties,” Dawson added.
DS Smith manufactures a range of flexible, rigid, foam and injection-moulded packaging solutions and claims to be the “world leader” in flexible liquid packaging and dispensing solutions for ‘bag-in-box’, with its Rapak brand. 
The company has 11 flexible packaging production plants and 15 rigid packaging manufacturing sites globally.