New owner for historic firm

Duncan Print Group bought by acquisitive German group

Wildies: "We are strengthening our position as a multinational player"
Wildies: "We are strengthening our position as a multinational player"

Duncan Print Group has been acquired by European business Carton Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Based in Schwabach, Germany, packaging specialist Carton Group is owned by investment firm Waterland.

Its acquisition of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire-based Duncan Print Group, which was completed last Thursday (9 November), is its fourth acquisition in the last four months, with one of its other recent buys being London-based luxury packaging firm Wrapology.

The group told Printweek it aims to continue its growth path “through acquisition and integration of strong international players” as part of its “buy-and-build” strategy.

Duncan was founded in 1889 and serves clients ranging from start-ups to design agencies and blue-chip companies, including in health, beauty, personal care, and food and beverage, with an emphasis on promotional products. Last year the business generated an operating profit of £1m on sales of £9m.

The company has two specialised divisions, one for commercial printing and one for custom packaging design and production.

With around 50 employees, the business will join now 400-staff Carton Group as a direct subsidiary with James Duncan as managing director. It will remain based at its current premises, and, on branding, the Carton Group said it “respects Duncan’s identity and strives to build upon it”.

Andrea Wildies, CEO of Carton Group, commented: “The broad expertise of Duncan Print Group’s team, with its brand and retail know-how and its ability to implement innovation processes across packaging, is highly compelling. In addition, it stands for excellent customer service.

“With the wide spectrum of products and services offered by Carton Group, which is again growing through Duncan Print Group, we achieve convincing added value for our existing and future customers.

“I am particularly pleased that through this fourth transaction within a short time span, we could once again demonstrate the strong and continued performance of our whole Carton Group team. Together we are strengthening our position as a multinational player and are paving the way for our vision of next-level innovation, sustainability, and design.”

Bill Duncan, outgoing CEO of Duncan Print Group, added: “I am delighted that Carton Group has recognised the passion for quality and innovation that is characteristic of Duncan Print Group’s approach.

“I am proud of our company’s achievements and confident that this next evolution of the business as part of Carton Group will see the company go from strength to strength. Having spent all of my working life in the business it is quite an emotional moment for me to hand over the company’s fortunes to my son James and the Carton Group.

“However, with their enthusiasm and high quality standards, they will continue to develop the tradition and spirit of Duncan. This is the beginning of an exciting new phase in the history of the company.”