French group buys Simply Cartons

Craig Mather: “Truly excited"
Craig Mather: “Truly excited"

Simply Cartons has been acquired by Autajon, giving the France-headquartered global packaging group its first foothold in the UK.

"The integration of both Simply Carton and Simply Luxe marks a significant milestone for us, setting foot in the United Kingdom for the first time," said CEO Gérard Autajon.

Printweek understands the deal completed last month.

Formed in 2006, Simply Cartons operates across three sites in Nottingham.

According to its latest accounts, to 31 August 2022, the group generated a pre-tax profit of £3.4m on sales of £29.2m, compared with £2.2m and £23.3m in 2021.

In a statement, Simply Cartons and Simply Luxe CEO Craig Mather there will be no change UK business’s senior management team, which he said was “truly excited for what lies ahead".

"We remain faithful to our strategy of expanding our presence by integrating sites that have local influence and share the same values, sustainability awareness and demonstrate remarkable technical knowhow," added Gérard Autajon.

Autajon Group directors Gérard Autajon and Robin Autajon were appointed directors of Simply Cartons on 28 July.

Family-run Autajon, which was formed in Montélimar, France in 1964, has 30 production sites across mainland Europe, as well as operations in the US, China and South Korea. It employs around 4,200 staff.

While Simply Cartons already generates sales in Europe, more than 90% of its revenue comes from the UK.

“This new partnership gives the Simply Group a greater global presence enabling us to facilitate not only the continued growth of Simply but also satisfy the needs of our global customers,” said Mather.

Earlier this year the circa-170 staff business installed a brace of Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 presses, a six-colour and eight-colour, both with double coaters in ‘plus 1’ configuration with a tower between the coaters.

"Over the years we have invested heavily to foster innovation and create efficiencies in our production facilities. Alongside the Autajon Group, we intend to further this practise," said Mather.

According to its website, the FMCG, horticulture and luxury packaging specialist’s clients include Diageo, Hotel Chocolat, M&S, Molton Brown, Next, Sainsbury's Tesco, and Waitrose.