Chesapeake eyes CEE expansion after Polish packaging takeover

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Eastern europe

Chesapeake has acquired a leading Polish label and carton operation in a bid to expand its share of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) market.

The UK packaging supplier said the takeover of Cezar S.A would also allow it to consolidate its existing supply network in the region. No financial details regarding the transaction were available.

“We envisage that the acquisition could be a springboard into markets such as Belarus and Russia,”​ Bob Houghton, Chesapeake marketing manager told FoodProductionDaily.com. “CEE is one area we have targeted for growth and we now have the opportunity to open dialogue with potential clients that we previously haven’t been able to supply.”

Cezar’s main production site is based near Bialystok, north-east Poland, with a satellite operation across the border in Belarus. The business produces folding cartons as well as wet-applied, self-adhesive and in-mould labels. The company employs around 300 staff and is focussed on the alcoholic drinks, confectionery, pharmaceutical, and beauty-care markets - supplying both pan-European and local customers.

“Some of our customers have moved their operations to the CEE region over the last few years and until now we haven’t been able to supply them directly,”​ added Houghton. “But now we will be able to supply them from our new Polish base.”

Potential growth in CEE

Chesapeake said it also hopes to market some of its recently-developed high-range confectionary packaging in the region.

“We have produced a number of packaging innovations for the confectionery sector. These will initially be marketed in Western Europe but we are not under-estimating markets in Poland and other CEE countries for these products either,”​ said Houghton.

Cezar is certified to a number of international standards and has embraced lean manufacturing techniques including Kaizen, Kanban and has an established 5S system in place. This approach will enable the business to strengthen its position in its core markets and to further develop its presence in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, said Chesapeake.

Jerry Kerins, company chairman and CEO, said: “Cezar is an impressive, well-respected operation and an ideal partner to further extend our position in Central and Eastern Europe.”

He added that the acquisition was an “important step”​ in the company’s strategy to extend its integrated supply network.

“We have also embarked on a major investment programme which has benefited sites in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and China,”​ he said.

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