Constantia Flexibles acquires Afripack

Constantia-Flexibles-Headquarters-ViennaConstantia Flexibles has successfully completed the acquisition of the South African flexibles packaging group Afripack, after receiving approval from the relevant anti-trust authorities.

‘We welcome the Afripack employees into our group and look forward to growing the business in this exciting continent in the future,’ says Friedrich Humer, executive VP food emerging markets of Constantia Flexibles.

Constantia Flexibles has close to €2 billion in annual sales, more than 50 plants in over 20 countries and close to 10 000 employees.

A kick-off event on 10 December 2015 welcomed more than 800 of Afripack’s Durban-based employees to the company. Constantia Flexibles CEO Alexander Baumgartner and board members Fritz Humer and Mike Henry attended the event

The company indicated that it wants to integrate Afripack into the group as quickly as possible. This will stretch across all aspects of the business, from operational matters to branding, corporate values as well as health and safety standards.

A perfect fit

Constantia Flexibles sees Africa as a growth market. Afripack offered the company the perfect platform to expand in the sub-Saharan region. The company was also very impressed by Afripack’s strong entrepreneurial management team.

Consumption of flexible packaging products in Africa is forecast to continue to grow at a higher rate compared to Europe. Strong growth in flexible packaging is supported by recent and expected future investments by multinationals, a growing middle class, expansion of organised retailing and urbanisation.

Africa also has a large and young population, where more than 40 per cent of the population is under 14. While 15 per cent of the global population lives on the continent, close to a quarter of the world’s under-14s live in Africa. Between now and 2050, the population of Africa’s cities is expected to grow by almost 900 million people.

Strong market position

As a strong player in Europe and North America, Constantia Flexibles wants to expand its emerging markets exposure. Food is its largest division, followed by labels and the Pharma division.

Afripack’s portfolio covers mainly food and labels. Roughly 80 per cent of the flexible packaging market in Africa is for the food segment. Constantia Flexibles is already represented at its Johannesburg site, which produces labels for international drinks manufacturers. Some 100 employees work at the site.