Zeus Packaging makes it biggest acquisition yet in aggressive European expansion

ITALY – Irish-owned, Zeus Packaging has agreed to acquire Sirap Group’s German and Austrian business in an effort to accelerate its expansion in Europe.

The acquisition – which was made for an undisclosed sum – will further expand and strengthen Zeus Packaging’s geographic presence across 12 countries in Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

The deal comes shortly after Faerch acquired the Sirap food packaging business in Italy, Poland and Spain.

Following completion of the transaction, Sirap Group will maintain control over its business in the UK and France, with a consolidated turnover of around €70 million (about US$ 84.84 million).

Austria-based Petruzalek which supplies a wide range of packaging and processing machines, equipment and packaging materials – such as films, trays and cups – in several categories including fish, meat, bakery, fruit and cheese joined Sirap Group in 2003 and today operates in 12 countries.

Meanwhile, Sirap Group acquired its German subsidiary in 2018 and saw it continue to supply food stretch films and foam trays.

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In 2020, Petruzalek reported revenues of approximately €58 million (US$70.30 million), while Sirap Gmbh achieved a turnover of around €8 million (US$9.70 million).

“The acquisition of Petruzalek not only further builds on our scale, but strengthens our operating platform across Europe.”

Zeus founder – Brian O’Sullivan

A US$48m acqusition strategy

The acquisition completes a three-year €40 million (US$48.48 million) acquisition strategy for Zeus, marking the seventh business to be integrated in the company in the past 18 months.

According to Zeus, the deal will bring its total number of employees from 450 across 14 countries to 670 people across 26 countries.

“This latest acquisition is the largest in our strategic expansion, and along with recent investments in our leadership operational infrastructure, is an integral part of Zeus’s long-term growth strategy,” said Zeus CEO, Keith Ockenden.

He added: “The purchase of Petruzalek significantly extends our reach into new markets, brings complementary diversification to our product range and further enhances our client network.”

In 2020, despite the pandemic, Zeus reached a milestone with revenues exceeding €200 million (about US$242.41 million).

With today’s announcement, Zeus remains on track to become the largest independent packaging distribution business in Europe.

“The acquisition of Petruzalek not only further builds on our scale, but strengthens our operating platform across Europe,” Zeus founder, Brian O’Sullivan, added.

A timely acquisition

The acquisition of Sirap Group’s packaging business is timely for Zeus as the food packaging market is expected to grow by USD 56.87 billion, progressing at a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period of 2020-2024, according to Technavio Research.

The research firm notes that he growing need to avoid food wastage is one of the major factors propelling market growth.

However, factors such as the volatility of raw material prices will hamper the market growth.

The deal is subject to conditions and is expected to close within the second quarter of 2021.

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