Midlands-based packaging outfits merge

By Max Goldbart, Monday 06 March 2017

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CPS Flexible and Mercury Packaging have merged, forming a £15m-turnover company.

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CPS comprises around two-thirds of the new company's staff

The merger completed last Wednesday (1 March) and the new company now comprises around 150 staff. It is aiming for 25% growth over the next three years. 

Both Nottinghamshire-based CPS and Leicester-based Mercury have retained their names and branding for now but a merged name will be announced soon, and is likely to be made up of the initials of the two companies.  

Mercury sales director Ray Franks said CPS approached his chairman Tony Stanger around six to eight months ago about the possibility of a merger and talks developed from there. 

Stanger, who is now group chairman, said the transaction “brings together two highly complementary and long-established organisations”.

CPS was looking to move into new markets having invested in building and print capacity, while Mercury was also seeking expansion, having reached full capacity on its recently purchased eight-colour Uteco flexo press. CPS invested one year ago in a Soma flexo press. 

Franks said: “From Mercury's perspective, we bought a press, filled that press successfully and we then had several larger customers saying that they wanted to work with us but there were two issues: 'You’ve got no capacity and also there is always the concern that the press might go down.'

“Looking at the two businesses it seemed an ideal way forward without CPS having to go out and invest in lamination, as we had lamination capacity, and without Mercury going out to get more press capacity, where CPS had it. So both companies were at the stage where they wanted to take the step forward and the combination seemed ideal.

“It gives us capacity and much more expertise combined across the two sites, so that’s fantastic. We are really keen to keep the innovation going and put some new products to market and now we have the time and expertise to do that.” 

CPS also runs a Comexi eight-colour gearless press while Mercury runs a Uteco digital laminator. There are a number of extrusion lines across the two sites along with a range of converting, slitting and rewinding equipment.

CPS has around 100 staff and turnover of just more than £8m, with Mercury at 50 staff and plus-£7m turnover.

CPS current production and managing director Simon Rose has become group managing director and other key group roles include David Mallison as finance director, Jonathan Woodcock as operations director and John Fisher as production manager. 

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