Gerresheimer flashes the plastic with Allplas acquisition

By Pete Mansell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags São paulo Gerresheimer

German pharmaceutical packaging group Gerresheimer has once again
extended its reach in the plastic packaging space, this time
acquiring Allplas Embalagens, the market leader for pharmaceutical
plastic packaging in Brazil.

No price was disclosed for the deal but a figure of €70m ($102m) was quoted in the German press. Based in Sao Paulo, Allplas currently generates annual sales of around €16m and an EDITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin of 16 per cent, which "will be continuously improved in the years ahead​", Gerresheimer said. The announcement came just a few days after the German group completed its takeover of EDP, a Spanish company specializing in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) containers for the pharmaceutical industry, and as Gerresheimer reported provisional sales of €958m for 2007, up 48 per cent on the previous year. The adjusted group EDITDA margin for last year was 19 per cent. "This gratifying development completely and fully confirms our strategy,"​ said Dr Axel Herberg, chief executive officer of Gerresheimer. "With the help of acquisitions we have successfully expanded our global presence and set the course for further growth."Plastic fantastic​ Gerresheimer has been expanding rapidly in the plastics packaging space. Its acquisition of EDP last December, which brought the German group three manufacturing plants in Spain (Zaragoza and Valenicia) and Argentina (Buenos Aires), followed the takeover of Denmark's Superfos Pharma in December 2005 and of fellow German company Wilden, the European market leader for medical drug-delivery plastic systems, a year later. Burkhard Lingenberg, Gerresheimer's director, corporate PR and marketing, said the German group was now one of the biggest pharmaceutical plastic packagers in the world and was heading towards the global leadership position it already enjoys in glass containers for the drug industry. With the Allplas deal, he added, Gerresheimer now had eight plastics packaging subsidiaries worldwide as well as, importantly, a broader geographical presence and a more comprehensive product range. The Allplas business offered synergies with the group's plastics operations in Denmark, Spain and Poland (Polfa), he noted. All of these subsidiaries have now been rebranded to the Gerresheimer name plus their location, so Allplas now becomes Gerresheimer Sao Paulo. For Gerresheimer's Plastic Systems Division, the Allplas acquisition "puts the cap on a dramatic move into South America"​, the group said. The Brazilian company operates two production plants in Sao Paulo which, together with EDP's facility in Argentina, gives Gerresheimer "three strategically important bases in the region"​. Allplas is described as "a well-established supplier to the pharmaceutical industry, with innovative products and a reputation for high quality"​. The company, most of whose sales are to its home market, manufactures high-calibre vials and application and closure systems for liquid formulations and solid dosages (e.g., eye drops and tablets) that "ideally complement - and can be combined with - Gerresheimer's product range"​, the German group noted. It added that Gerresheimer's existing product portfolio, which has so far been marketed primarily in Europe, "will as a result increasingly find its way into the South American pharmaceutical markets"​. The integration of Allplas into the Gerresheimer group should be completed by mid-2008. Like EDP, Allplas will become part of Gerresheimer Plastic Packaging, which specialises in pharmaceutical primary packaging and application systems under trademarks such as Duma, Dudek and EDP. With EDP and Allplas on board, Gerresheimer's plastics operations now generate total annual sales of around €350m, of which about €100m are attributable to the plastics packaging segment. Nor does it look as though the group's acquisition spree is over. "The target this year is to do more in plastics,"​ Lingenberg commented.

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