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Trio seal Celloglas deal

Celloglas: strong synergies anticipated via ACA connection

A trio of trade finishers have stepped in to acquire the business and assets of Celloglas.

The pre-pack sale completed late yesterday (13 May).

The outside investor is Dara Changizi, who is a director at Glasgow-based packaging post-press specialist ACA.

Celloglas director Richard Pinkney and commercial director of its Mirri operation Ian Fergusson also become stakeholders and directors of the new Celloglas, with the acquisition made via newco Celloglas Holdings.

Their offer was accepted by administrators at RSM UK Restructuring.

Celloglas filed a Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators at the end of last month as a prelude to the deal, after its business and assets were put up for sale earlier in April.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to the sale document Celloglas was predicted to return to profitability this year on increased sales of £11.2m.

The company is the UK’s largest multi-site decorative trade finishing specialist.

Pinkney told Printweek that the underlying Celloglas business was strong, but the impact of the pandemic, energy price hikes and then the cost of living crisis had put the firm in an “impossible position”.

“The team tried everything to trade through this period and to recover,” he explained.

“We reduced headcount by 20% during Covid, sold surplus plant and attempted to refinance the business. However, once it became clear that refinancing was not a viable option and our bank could offer no further support, we had no choice but to engage RSM and look for new investors.”

He said customers had been supportive during the uncertainty of the past few weeks.

“We have a very strong brand, and we’re very niche in what we do. Lots of people are interested in brand development using our finishes.”

The three Celloglas sites at Reading, Leeds and Leicester will be retained, along with 74 staff, and all the Celloglas equipment and intellectual property including the Mirri range of reflective substrates.

The ‘new’ Celloglas aims to benefit from a leaner structure and a closer association with ACA, which can supplement its services with more than 70 different processes of its own, along with providing a broader geographic spread.

ACA specialties include folder-gluing, nested tray production and a sterile BRCGS unit.

Celloglas will also be able to source dies and formes from ACA, which will reduce costs.

Changizi commented: “I see strong synergies for our respective companies moving forward. By working together, we become a stronger and more sustainable operation with reduced overheads, a broader spread of services and expertise to support customers.”

Fergusson said he believed that specialist finishing trade companies were still needed “and by adapting and offering the widest range of services and more ecological solutions we believe our future now looks very bright”.

Printweek understands that Celloglas sales director Steve Middleton will remain with the newco in a sales role, while the future for long-standing managing director Richard Gillgrass is still to be decided.

Finance director Peter Clayton will stay with the business for a transition period.