Kerridge takes new role in packaging

Hannah Jordan
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Packaging industry heavyweight Mark Kerridge has joined the board of acquisitive UK-based group Americk Packaging.

Kerridge: This is an excellent outcome for all parties
Kerridge: This is an excellent outcome for all parties

Kerridge, who stepped down from his position as managing director of Benson Group in November 2014, after overseeing the acquisition of the £120m business by global packaging giant Graphic Packaging International (GPI), has become a non-exec director at Americk.

"My role will involve supporting the board with their plans for growth, both organic and acquisitive," Kerridge said. "Ultimately I’m here to help them take the business forward and develop strategies for growth. My experience in packaging, M&A and growth will support that."

Kerridge has extensive experience in growth strategies and mergers and acquisitions: prior to the GPI acquisition, he led Benson through five acquisitions, growing sales from £10m to £120m as well as heading an MBO in 2011 with commercial director Nick Benson.

Americk Packaging has six sites across the UK and Ireland and one in Germany and produces cartons, produce packaging, flexibles, reel-fed labels and self-adhesive labels. In November last year it acquired Suffolk-based labels and flexible packaging printer Adare Advantage, its newest UK asset.

The group, which is expected to post sales of around €140m (£119.5m) this year, predominantly services clients in the healthcare, food and drink, pet care and horticulture industries.

Kerridge highlighted the similarities between Benson Group and Americk in terms of operations and products as well as what will be new areas for him.

"Americk is also in flexibles and labels, which are different mediums for me," he said. "The business has been growing fast over the past few years and it's going to be really exciting working with Pat [Doran, chief executive] to drive it forward," he said.

"I’m glad to be back in the packaging and printing world."

Kerridge’s appointment follows Josephine Morgan joining Americk as group retail director and the recent expansion of the group’s Flexibles Division, which tripled its footprint with a move to a new 7,500sqm facility in Wigan last month.

Doran said: “Our focus is now to bring all our operations under a single brand identity in order to capitalise on our strengths and collective expertise.

“I am extremely pleased Mark is joining Americk Packaging as his knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we continue on our path to growth.”

Although Kerridge formally stepped down as managing director of Benson Group in November 2014, his official notice ran until June last year, between which times he said he continued to help manage and support the transfer of the firm to GPI.

"I’ve been taking a bit of a break since then and thinking about my career options and I’ve started to develop a portfolio in non-exec directorships," he said.

The new role with Americk is the second non-exec position he's taken up in recent months, with the first being on the board of a family-run distribution business that Kerridge said had no links to the packaging industry.

"I may be looking for more positions in the future, but these are keeping me busy for now," he said.

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