BG Container Glass (BGC), a maker and distributor of glass containers, is preparing to make deals worth 1.65-billion-baht to acquire two companies in a bid to fuel its growth and become a leader in total packaging solutions.
The expansion, which allows it to offer a wide range of packaging products apart from glass containers, is expected to help the company double revenue growth in the next five years from 10 to 25 billion baht.
Last year, BGC recorded revenue of 10.9 billion baht and net profit was 516 million baht.
On Monday, BGC’s chief executive Silparat Watthanakasetr said the company faced many challenges in 2020, ranging from a curfew and prohibition on the sales of alcoholic drinks to contain the outbreak to the increase in energy costs in the last quarter last year.
“We managed to achieve satisfactory performance as we look further for opportunities to develop our business to make business stronger,” Mr Silparat said.
The BGC board earlier approved a merger and acquisition (M&A) plan to acquire 100% shares in two companies: BG Packaging (BGP), a producer and distributor of plastic films, plastic caps, PET bottles and preform, and Bangkok Visypak Company (BVP), a producer and distributor of corrugated paper boxes.
Both companies are subsidiaries of the Boonrawd Brewery.
BGP is valued at 1.15 billion baht while BVP is valued at 500 million baht, according to KTBST Securities.
BGC plans to allocate 1.65 billion baht from its 2021 investment budget, worth 2.55 billion baht, for the acquisitions. The remainder will go to a joint venture project under talks.
The new asset purchases will be part of further expansion in products related to glass packaging.
“Our business expansion through M&A suits growing demand for packaging products, stimulated by the pandemic,” said Mr Silparat.
KTBST Securities expected the acquisitions will cause a “small impact” on BGC’s estimate of its 2021 profit.
The analysts said the greater interest burden on BGC will be absorbed by profits made by the two companies.
In 2020, BGP and BVP recorded combined profit of 75 million baht, according to KTBST Securities.
BGC has no plan to invest in renewable businesses after taking over a solar farm in Vietnam with capacity of 99 megawatts as it wants to focus more on the packaging industry.
Papierwerk Landshut Mittler Produces Folding Cartons Using Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 and MK Diana Smart 115
Papierwerk Landshut Mittler (plm), whose high-quality packagings are found the world over, can be summed up in three words: quality, reliability, and passion. Targeting further growth, the company was the first folding carton printer last year to invest in a Speedmaster XL 75-7+L from the new 2020 generation. A new Diana Smart 115 folder gluer from the partner MK Masterwork completed the investment in the latest packaging solutions from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). Using state-of-the-art and innovative technologies makes it possible to combine top quality and high productivity.
“To enable us to produce the best folding cartons for our customers, we’re constantly on the lookout for the most innovative equipment,” explains Günther Berninghaus, the third generation of the family to manage plm. “Our slogan “Beyond the box” says so too, and we’re proud that we’re still independent.” The trained letterpress printer and printing engineer has worked in the company for 40 years, and says he has “always invested in the right machines.” plm has been in existence since 1914, with medium-sized pharmaceutical companies and contract manufacturers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland accounting for 80 percent of its production. The remaining 20 percent is split between folding cartons for cosmetics and general consumer goods. plm also works with an internationally renowned pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop and produce complex color guides to guarantee globally harmonized production.
Since 1996, the company has been based in Wörth an der Isar – where it has enough space for both a structured production process and further growth. “We have always focused on one site, where we maintain a high level of productivity. What’s more, we invest heavily in our own training and are proud of our rate of ten percent,” says Günther Berninghaus in explaining his recipe for success. And there is one other special thing about plm: almost half of the 134 employees are women.
The partnership between Heidelberg and plm goes back decades, and has benefited both sides. For example, plm was one of the first concept customers in 1992. As a field test customer, plm has been involved in several major projects with Heidelberg – whether the expansion of the substrate range and the first coating unit in the Speedmaster SM 52 or the Prinect Inpress Control inline color and quality measurement system on the Speedmaster CD 74. Other field tests were conducted on the Prinect Press Center XL 3 and its LED daylight lamp, which Günther Berninghaus says makes it easier to approve sheets by simply switching from D50 (5000K daylight) to D65 (6500K daylight). plm has focused on the medium-size format 50 x 70 for many years. In the press room you will now find a Speedmaster XL 75-6+L from 2008 as well as a Speedmaster XL 75-5+L that was added three years ago and most recently the Speedmaster XL 75-7+L from the 2020 generation one year ago. All three presses run at a speed of 18,000 sheets per hour and have a sheet format of 605 x 750 mm (23.82 x 29.53 in.), which is perfect for packaging companies.
Prior to its most recent investment, plm had scoured the printing press market and was also considering a change to the next bigger format. It soon turned out, however, that another Speedmaster XL 75 was the best solution. What clinched it were the innovative solutions in the new 2020 generation – the clear operating concept with the new Heidelberg User Experience (UX), the good accessibility, and the high print quality thanks to the perfectly optimized inking unit for this press series. The large diameters of the cylinders ensure that the cardboard is transported smoothly through the press.
“We consider ourselves in a good position with the three almost identical presses from Heidelberg. The printers can work on all the presses, we operate a standardized printing process, and can offer our customers fast production with zero defects,” says Günther Berninghaus in summary. “The medium-size format is the perfect fit for us as well at the moment. This is confirmed by our profitability calculations. We have faster setup times, greater color stability, and uniformity of colors over the entire sheet, which helps us with the many gang runs we have.”
All of the presses have a service agreement in place and the Heidelberg technicians are held in high regard at plm. The washing fluids and aids are from the Saphira range.
Production operates on a three-shift schedule on all but the oldest Speedmaster XL 75, in some cases also at weekends. An active sales force and the additional demand from the pharmaceutical industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in growth of twelve percent last year. Turnover in 2020 was 20 million euros. Further growth came from the increasing substitution of plastic packagings and from monoblock cartons.
Print shop manager Günter Zöttl keeps an eye on the productivity gains offered by the three presses. The new Speedmaster XL 75 is 30 percent more efficient than the 2008 press. The new press is also five percent more efficient that the 2018 one. All in all, what sets the new 2020 generation press apart is its reliability, stability, quality, and good accessibility. “When I ask my printers what their favorite press to work on is, it’s always the new Speedmaster,” confirms Günter Zöttl. “They’re big fans of the new operator guidance system, and the new 24-inch touchscreen makes their work more direct and straightforward.” The company is also taking advantage of the navigated printing: Intellistart 3 compares two jobs and suggests the best production approach to the printer. Intelliline, the system of optical guidance by means of LED strips on the printing units, provides outstanding navigation and support for the assistance system.
Spot colors account for 80 percent of the inks used at plm and the colorfulness of the jobs is on the increase, which means frequent colors changes. This is now much easier with the new Wash Assistant and its artificial intelligence. The Wash Assistant selects the right washup program for the inking unit and dampening system, blanket, and impression cylinder based on corresponding job and press parameters. When washing ink rollers, it can, for example, identify when switching from a dark color to a light one, and initiates the optimal washup program. If necessary it can even automatically initiate deep cleaning. Apart from saving time, this also saves washing fluid and washup cloths. Any inking units not needed are continuously supplied with roller protection liquid by the new “Auto Protect” function. Once ink is added again, the roller protection is removed fully automatically in the Intellistart 3 workflow without any input from the operator.
The average run length is just under 8,000 sheets. The main material processed is primary fiber cardboard with grammages from 220 to 500 g/m².
Production also runs on a three-shift schedule in postpress, with four die cutters and four folder gluers from the Diana series. The latest – a Diana Smart 115 – is a replacement investment and is expanding the product portfolio by adding new gluing options for the folding cartons. The new Diana also made it possible to further increase the quality and productivity.
Looking forward, plm wants to improve and expand the integration between the data provided by the Heidelberg presses and the packaging workflow. These are then also projects for the next generation. Günther Berninghaus’ son Daniel has a degree in business administration and has been working in the company as Operational Excellence Manager for three years. “We’re a company with a strong team spirit, open exchange, and great collaboration – fast, flexible, and agile,” he sums up. These attributes are fundamental in achieving the objectives set – to continue as an independent medium-sized company with a profitable business that offers the customers the best-possible quality.
Canon a leading provider of printing and imaging solutions, reiterated its commitment to the Middle East region during a virtual version of its employees’ annual ‘Kick-Off’ event, with the goal of ‘Power to lead the future’. The event presented a platform for Canon to recap the challenges and opportunities of the past year as well as discuss strategies for 2021. It focused on key milestones from 2020 despite a challenging year, the journey ahead, and Canon’s plans in the region, while also showcasing the role of various teams in the company’s accomplishments.
Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director of Canon Middle East, said, “Last year, Canon Middle East faced unexpected challenges. But we hurdled each challenge with more resolve to offer the best solutions, which would support our customers in today’s “new normal” and ways of working. This year’s kick-off event also allowed us to share our plans to sustain our market leadership through our new and existing offerings and gave management a venue to outline our milestones.”
During the event, Canon highlighted how despite the pandemic, the company launched 53 key and game-changing products in the business and consumer categories across the Middle East, coupled with expansion plans and strategic partnerships announcements in Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, and the UAE. Canon strongly believes that complete cloud workspace solutions for companies looking to build robust and effective remote-working set-up is key to the success of its products. As part of this belief, the company has been able to add a lot to its business offerings with the launch of customized products for small, medium, and large enterprises this year.
Additionally, the company introduced new innovations in the consumer category, as it sees tremendous growth in social media and creative content creation such as vlogging which in turn increases demand for its range of consumer-focused products. To enable effective storytelling, Canon has launched its range of camera products and home printing solutions which meet the needs of today’s netizen communicators and homeschooling children alike – from printers to toners, and photo papers.
Adopting a solid business mind frame, Canon Middle East projects strong results in 2021 by ensuring a sustainable future in the region with innovative insights and solutions that help achieve new heights, in a new world. “Our determination to ensure business continuity during the pandemic, coupled with a commitment to reimagining our business, has allowed us to adapt to new ways of working, to best serve our customers. We are confident that with the new strategic partnerships and the expertise to cater to emerging trends like WFH, we are well equipped to not only meet but also exceed customer expectations,” continued Agrawal.
In 2020, Canon launched several projects to promote creativity and local culture considering the new reality. These included the first-of-its-kind AKTASHIF programme, for the region’s future storytellers and content creators to discover their passion and to develop the skillsets and ignite creativity among GCC youth.
Other initiatives were the ‘Stories of Arabia’ photo challenge and the digital ‘Hakawaty’ platform for Arabic storytelling to inspire and entertain children. The company also granted a full scholarship to a student from Mohammed Al-Mana College for Medical Sciences in Saudi Arabia to help promote education in the healthcare sector and the advancement of women’s welfare.
Canon, which has been chosen to provide Expo 2020’s imaging and printing needs, concluded the event with an awards ceremony held to recognize the hard work and commitment of its employees during the past year, in line with its ‘Together We Can’ strategy for 2020. Employees, along with customers and the community, will continue to be at the core of all company activities, and their roles will be reinforced as part of Canon’s workplace culture
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has completed an investment in Lavit, a leading maker of multi-beverage, counter-top dispensing machines.
Using globally patented technology, the Lavit system lets consumers make and pour their drink by dispensing a range of cold beverage options “on-demand” at the tap of a button and offering customisation of beverages based on carbonation and flavour.
CCEP said the partnership will help explore and test new dispensed delivery solutions as a key strategic route towards helping reduce packaging waste and its carbon footprint.
Graham Stokhuyzen, Vice President of New Business development at CCEP said: “Decreasing our packaging use and waste is a core part of our strategy to reduce our carbon footprint. We will continue to develop and invest in “drinks on demand” dispensed delivery innovations to offer consumers choice, personalisation and convenience in the most sustainable ways possible. This will also enable us to reduce our use of single use packaging.”
John Uhlein, chief executive of Lavit, said “We are delighted to have CCEP Ventures as a partner. This partnership will enable us to scale more quickly, combining CCEP’s industry experience and commercial expertise with Lavit’s innovative technology.”