Benpac: why the Gallus deal failed

Jo Francis
Monday, February 1, 2021

Benpac Holding has blamed “resistance” from the Gallus operations and the market in general, conflicts over future co-operation, and negative media reports for its decision not to complete its takeover of Gallus as planned.

Benpac: successful implementation had to be called into question
Benpac: successful implementation had to be called into question

In a statement, Benpac chief executive Marco Corvi said: “The reasons for this decision are essentially the resistance that Benpac has faced in recent months. The reactions from the market and from the Gallus companies themselves were so strong that successful implementation had to be called into question. The decision was also influenced by negative media reports that damaged the reputation of Benpac Holding AG and Marco Corvi personally.”

It went on: “In addition, the different interpretation of a cooperation agreement between Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG and Benpac Maschinenbau AG was decisive for the decision.”

Heidelberg declined to comment on the content of Benpac's statement. A spokesperson told Printweek: “Heidelberg does not comment on this. However, the fact remains that – as communicated in the ad hoc – all conditions for the closing were met on Friday.”

Heidelberg also defended its due diligence process. "The management board and the M&A team involved on the Heidelberg side carefully managed the entire sales process, including in accordance with customary standards and with the support of renowned consultant – this also includes checking the solvency of the purchaser. The closing was not completed for reasons beyond Heidelberg's control,” the spokesperson stated.

Heidelberg is also likely to pursue Benpac for damages. 

The Benpac board said they regretted the failure of the €120m (£106m) takeover, and would now focus on the group’s core packaging business, including can making and related items such as caps and spray valves.

It has transferred its can machinery business from Thailand to Stans in Switzerland, with the promise of new jobs being created in Stans and Etzgen. 

“In a later step, canning machines in North America and Asia will be additionally manufactured at new locations for reasons of customer proximity. Thus, the Benpac Group is also aligning this business area in line with its global strategy,” the statement said.

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