Grant Thornton

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Sheffield advisers support three acquisitions for Cepac

Rotherham-based Cepac Limited, a leading UK supplier of corrugated and retail ready packaging, has started the New Year in style with a hat trick of acquisitions of complementary packaging businesses, with all three deals being supported by professional advisers from Sheffield.

Led by business adviser Grant Thornton which provided full advisory services, the team included legal advice from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, plus banking facilities provided by Lloyds TSB. The complex series of deals included the completion of the acquisition of DS Smith’s corrugated packaging operation in Darlington, formerly known as SCA Branded Packaging, on 31 December. The completion follows the announcement by DS Smith early last month that it would be selling the site to Cepac having been obliged to dispose of the operation as a condition of the European Commission’s approval of its acquisition of SCA Group’s packaging business last summer. The 130-strong workforce in Darlington transferred to Cepac on completion of the deal.

In a separate transaction, Cepac is purchasing the business and assets of DS Smith’s specialist corrugated packaging plant at its Rawcliffe Bridge site, near Goole. The plant will complement Cepac’s corrugated operations in Rotherham enabling Cepac to serve a wide range of customers across a number of sectors. The deal is expected to complete later this month.

Finally, Cepac has acquired point of sale display manufacturer Screenprint Doncaster Limited, further extending the company’s offering to customers. Screenprint Doncaster designs and produces custom point of sale display units such as counter display units, floor display units, and pallet and dump bins for use by manufacturers and wholesalers of retail products nationwide.

The Grant Thornton team was headed by Ian Marwood and Claire Davis who took the lead advisory role with colleagues Jonathan Steed, Neil Sengupta and Fletcher Adamowicz also providing both financial and commercial due diligence and tax advice. Legal advice for Cepac was provided by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors led by corporate partner Matt Ainsworth with partners Andrea Cropley and Dean Gormley and associate Emma Garth. The Lloyds TSB team was led by Adam Barraclough and Steve McGawn, who were supported with legal advice from Neil Thompson and Tim Littler of Hill Dickinson.

Rod Ainslie, managing director of Cepac, commented: “Having built up the business over the last 13 years, we have established a strong position in the industry, serving a solid base of FMCG customers. Throughout 2012, we have been working with Grant Thornton to identify potential acquisitions to complement and extend our offering and we have been fortunate to find three very good opportunities.

“The addition of the former DS Smith sites will enable us to operate an independent multi-plant network within the UK, satisfying customer demand with a wide and complementary range of market-leading products and enabling us to expand our customer base.”

Mr Ainslie continues: “Establishing a long term and close relationship with Grant Thornton has proved vital to the successful conclusion of these deals and the fact that the firm has been able to provide a comprehensive service to cover all of our needs made the process run more smoothly. Our legal advisors, Irwin Mitchell, have also provided immense support throughout these transactions and their experience and determination has been invaluable in finalising the deals”

Claire Davis of Grant Thornton added, “In the current market, it is an achievement to make one acquisition, let alone three! We’ve been working with Cepac to develop its corporate finance strategy over the last four years and it’s great news for the company and its workforce that these complementary businesses have been acquired. They are an excellent fit and provide a sound base for Cepac to continue to grow.”

Matt Ainsworth of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors added: “Cepac is already a very successful business and these acquisitions give it an even brighter future – this is truly a South Yorkshire deal and it’s fantastic that a Sheffield based team of advisers and funders has been able to work together seamlessly to make this happen.”

Cepac, which is part of the HSA group of companies, has a turnover of more than £50m and produces ‘retailer friendly packaging’ for FMCG customers. The company has established itself as an innovator, both in terms of performance technology and retail ready packaging, and its Rotherham plant is one of the largest and most technologically advance corrugated packaging plants in the world.

Picture shows:(centre) Rod Ainslie of Cepac with Claire Davis of Grant Thornton; with (L to R) Jonathan Steed of Grant Thornton, Tom Heys of Cepac Darlington, Tim Bradburn of Cepac, Matt Ainsworth of Irwin Mitchell, Steve Hollingsworth of Cepac, Steve McGawn of Lloyds Commercial Finance, Neil Thompson of Hill Dickinson, Sandra Margetts of Screenprint Doncaster, Adam Barraclough of Lloyds Corporate, and Richard Walton of Cepac.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Grant Thornton .

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