Alpla buys Boxmore group,dominates African PET sector


PHOTO: Boxmore CEO Len Engelbrecht with Alpla CEO Günther Lehner and Christoph Riedlsperger, Alpla’s regional director for Africa, Middle East & Turkey

ALPLA, a leading provider of plastic packaging worldwide, has bought Boxmore Packaging, one of South Africa’s largest PET preform and container manufacturing businesses and a leader in the sector in Southern Africa.

The contract parties have reached a confidentiality agreement regarding the financial details.

Headquartered in Samrand, Boxmore specialises in PET preforms, PET bottles and closures and currently employs around 1,000 people at nine locations. It has become a fully-owned subsidiary of the Austrian packaging specialist.

“The African continent is an attractive growth market for us. With the purchase of Boxmore Packaging, we now also have a broad basis for entering the market in South Africa, in addition to our activities with Alpla Taba in North Africa,” said Alpla CEO Günther Lehner.

Alpla has acquired 100% of Boxmore Packaging which besides its seven plants in South Africa also operates plants in Zambia and Mauritius. All employees and locations are being taken on by Alpla, although it has been decided that the management structure will remain the same. Boxmore’s current board, under the leadership of Len Engelbrecht, will continue to manage the business and, in addition, take on responsibility for the integration and management of the existing Alpla SA business, which started operations in 2014. For the foreseeable future the company will continue to operate under the existing name as a member of the Alpla Group.

Founded in 1995, Boxmore is seen as the market leader for PET preforms and bottles (ISBM technology), as well as closures in southern Africa. Its headquarters are located in the industrial zone of Samrand near Johannesburg. Around 1,000 employees currently manufacture approximately 4 billion containers a year. Boxmore’s customers are situated in more than 20 African countries as well as the Indian Ocean islands.

“Both the products and customer structure of Boxmore Packaging suit our corporate structure very well,” emphasised Christoph Riedlsperger, Alpla’s regional director for Africa, Middle East and Turkey. The active customer base includes numerous international consumer goods companies and long-term customers of Alpla, but also local customers previously unknown to Alpla.

“With this acquisition, the biggest in the history of the company, we are taking a significant step towards our targets on the African continent,” added Günther Lehner.

Engelbrecht is delighted with this strategic partnership saying: “Our combined ambition to prioritise growth in Africa is a very exciting opportunity and one that we’ll be exploring through Boxmore’s current footprint, and existing relationships in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The takeover was signed on 5 July, implementation remains subject to the required legal and regulatory approval by the competition authorities.


Alpla in Africa

Besides the plant in Spartan, Johannesburg, which it has operated since mid-2104, in 2015 Alpla took over the Egyptian location of Argo SA in El Obour. In March 2016, Alpla strengthened its market presence in North Africa and the Middle East through a joint venture with Egypt’s Taba Group. Since early this year, the company has operated under the name Alpla TABA. Also earlier this year, Alpla TABA opened a new location in Tenth of Ramadan City that meets state-of-the-art production standards.

With the locations of Boxmore Packaging, Alpla now owns 13 production facilities in Africa.

Alpla employs around 18,300 employees at 172 locations across 45 countries, producing high-quality packaging for brands in the food, beverage, cosmetics and cleaning industries. Alpla celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.