Bradman Lake sheds packaging brands in restructuring
acquired brands Albro, Dico and Gravfil only months after investing
in a new multi-million pound manufacturing facility.
A management buyout of the three brands has been signed and sealed, with the new company expected to commence trading as a separate entity before the end of the month, a company spokesperson told In-PharmaTechnologist. Bradman Lake acquired the three brands as part of its 2004 acquisition of GEI Packaging, but has now decided to hive them off following reviews that concluded the brands would be "better served as a separate business." The brands together provide a range of vacuum and net weight filling machines, capping and closing systems, and liquid filling systems. The company will hang on to the Autowrappers and Europack brands, also part of the 2004 acquisition, to compliment the existing Bradman Lake brand and forming the Bradman Lake Group. In January the company announced a multi-million pound investment in a new facility in the UK to strengthen its manufacturing presence in Europe. The new 50, 000sq ft. facility will replace the company's existing 15,000sq ft. facility in Norwich and a portion of the capacity at the Beccles, Suffolk plant, and significantly expands the firm's manufacturing capacity. Financial details of the Albro, Dico and Gravfil buyout could not be disclosed, but according to the company the sale was not a result of the investment in the new manufacturing plant. "The company has been growing over the past two years," Bradman Lake global marketing manager Dennis Juenger told In-PharmaTechnologist.com. "This is the next step change, we decided to sell the brands Albro, Dico and Gravfil and invest in the new facility all as part of the same long term strategy." The company intends the new plant to be one of the most efficient packaging machinery factories in Europe and will be home to the Autowrappers and Europack brands, with production due to start later this year. Although a hefty increase in manufacturing capacity, the company doesn't seem to think there is any risk of excess capacity: "Our sales grow year on year," said Juenger. "It's a very successful growth and we feel we'll be able to fill the manufacturing capacity quite quickly." Although the lion's share of the company's business comes from the food and confectionery industry, a significant portion comes from the pharmaceutical sector, with several multinational pharmaceutical companies opting for the packaging machinery offered by the Bradman Lake brand. The company has five manufacturing sites in North America and Europe, and has distributed machinery to over 20,000 sites worldwide. The focus of the company will now be concentrated on the Bradman Lake, Autowrappers and Europack brands, which together specialise in cartoning machines and systems, wrapping machines, and standard and customised film wrapping solutions.