Bosch to sell pharma packaging biz, hunts buyer with ‘credible strategy’

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Bosch says strong competition from specialty SMEs contributed to the decision to divest its pharmaceutical and food packaging technology units.

Germany-headquartered Bosch Group has announced plans to sell its pharmaceutical and food packaging portfolios, which in pharmaceuticals includes single units, complete lines and integrated systems for the manufacturing and processing of liquid and solid drugs.

The range also contains process technology, primary packaging, software solutions for track and trace, and pack styles such as blisters, bottles, capsules and stick packs.

According to Bosch, strong competition from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) informed its decision to sell: “Most other players [SMEs] are at a structural advantage,” ​a spokesperson told us.

“Bosch is certain that its packaging technology operations need to be put on a different footing that will allow them to react more flexibly to the specific requirements of the packaging,” ​the spokesperson added.

In addition, selling its packaging technology operations will free up resources to “drive forward the company’s digital transformation,” ​we were told.

The firm does not wish to sell its pharmaceutical packaging business separate to its food packaging business: “We will stay together as a strong and stable unit. Under new ownership as well, our tried and tested team will continue to provide our customers with excellent manufacturing solutions and services,” said​ chairman of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology, Stefan König.

“Bosch Packaging Technology has always led a largely independent existence within the Bosch Group, and will in the future be able to respond even better to the requirements of the packaging industry. Our customers will benefit from this,”​ he added.

Choosing a buyer

Bosch Packaging Technology has more than 30 locations globally and approximately 6,100 employees, all of whom Bosch hopes will be retained by the new owner.

A buyer will be selected conscientiously, we were told: “Bosch expects a buyer to have a clear concept for taking the business forward. This must also involve ideas for developing the business over the long term.”

“We will assess potential candidates ourselves, and not rely on the judgment of third parties. We will only decide in favor of an interested party if they can present a credible strategy and industrial concept,”​ said the spokesperson.

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