West Midlands-based private investment firm GIL Investments Limited (GIL) has bought one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist flexible plastic film for packaging for an undisclosed amount.
Camvac, which has 114 employees in Thetford, Norfolk, and annual sales of £20 million, has been in the packaging materials business for half a century. GIL, headed by local entrepreneur David Grove, bought the company from Australian group Amcor Flexibles, one of the world’s three top global packaging companies. The deal has been funded by Venture Structured Finance.
Camvac supplies through a well established range of branded products, a variety of coated, metallised and laminated barrier films for a wide range of specialised and demanding applications. The business, which has a history of technology leadership in the field of coated and metallised flexible films will continue to be run by the existing management team.
GIL already owns another plastics business, and also has investments in the automotive, specialist manufacturing, chemicals and distribution sectors.
Mr Grove, chairman of GIL, said: “Despite the credit crunch, we are still open for business and our purchase of Camvac demonstrates this. The business is profitable, with high manufacturing standards, an excellent customer base and a real understanding of customers’ needs. It also has what we believe to be an unparalleled expertise in metallised and laminate film technology.
“As investors, we believe that we can add value through encouraging, supporting and working alongside the existing management.
“Our track record is one of being willing to take a much longer view than many private equity investors and contributing much more than just the finance.
“In the case of Camvac, we will provide input on a range of corporate and strategic needs of the business in the months and years ahead.
Camvac managing director Steve Isherwood, said: “New ownership has given us the certainty we are looking for and we will have the commitment and finance we need for further product development.
“We will be well placed to build on the platform that we have built so far. With the support of GIL, we look forward to an exciting future focusing on our customers’ needs and bringing high performance products to meet the changing requirements and opportunities within the markets we serve”.
The deal has been completed at a time when the economic downturn and the banking crisis have had a major impact on the corporate scene across the developed world and certainly in the UK.
But Mr Grove believes that the Camvac purchase shows that there are deals to be done, even in challenging times for world markets.
“The commercial drivers for large companies to sell non-core businesses to concentrate on core activities and for private shareholders to move on their businesses to new ownership are still there.
“It is true that bank debt facilities can be more difficult for buyers to obtain on the right terms but if you can source the finance, and if the commercial case is there, there are deals to be done at a fair price.
“Our own pipeline of potential business purchases continues to be strong.”