Autajon expanding UK foothold

Royston Labels acquired by French group Autajon

The France-headquartered global packaging group that acquired Simply Cartons this summer has further expanded its foothold in the UK after acquiring Royston Labels.

Autajon Group’s latest deal was completed on 6 November, with Gérard Autajon and Robin Autajon added as listed directors on the same day according to Companies House, joining existing managing director Paul Clayton.

Founded in 1984 and based in Royston, near Cambridge, Royston Labels employs 75 staff and serves market sectors including cosmetics and toiletries, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, wines and spirits, as well as confectionery and food specialities. All management and staff have been retained.

According to its latest results filed at Companies House, for the year ended 30 April 2023, the business achieved a turnover of £8.89m, down from £9.56m a year earlier.

The business will now be known as Autajon Labels Royston and will join forces with Autajon Packaging Simply Cartons “to offer a full service from packaging to labelling for UK and beyond”, Autajon said.

Clayton commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the team at Royston Labels. Joining a family group with the same core values will allow us to continue to support our customers with their complex packaging needs.

“Maintaining our clients’ branding consistency remains of paramount importance. Therefore, joining Autajon Packaging Simply Cartons will allow us to combine our joint knowledge and expertise to create the highest quality packaging and label solutions.

“We are looking forward to our integration into the group over the coming weeks.”

Family-run Autajon, which was formed in Montélimar, France in 1964, is established in 12 European countries, the US, and Asia (China and South Korea). It includes 41 companies and more than 4,300 employees.

Gérard Autajon said: “We remain committed to our strategy of global expansion with a strong and end-to-end local presence.

“With Autajon Labels Royston joining us, we are now able to work alongside our customers on all their packaging challenges: rigid boxes, folding cartons and now labels.

“We share the same values, a taste for innovation and a perfect understanding of the environmental prerogatives that are an integral part of tomorrow's packaging. We are eager to see what we can accomplish together in the years ahead.”

Royston Labels was advised by Translink Corporate Finance UK advisors Matt Scott, Hamish Morrison and Will Sykes, and Translink Corporate Finance France's Jacques-Henri Rieme and David Dhouahria while Clarion's Sarah Harrison and Caitlin Hare provided legal support.

Matt Scott, partner at Translink Corporate Finance UK, commented: “The acquisition of Royston Labels offers Autajon an accomplished business in the self-adhesive label market and adds to its UK presence following the acquisition of Simply Cartons in August 2023.

“The Royston manufacturing facility and well-invested asset base across both digital and flexographic printing provides a unique platform for future growth.”