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Irwin Mitchell Supports Three Acquisitions For Cepac

Deals Fuel Growth At Ambitious Packaging Firm


The Sheffield office of law firm Irwin Mitchell has helped Rotherham-based Cepac Limited, a leading UK supplier of corrugated and retail ready packaging, on its three acquisitions of complementary packaging businesses.

The complex series of deals includes the completion of the acquisition of DS Smith’s corrugated packaging operation in Darlington, formerly known as SCA Branded Packaging.  The 130-strong workforce in Darlington transferred to Cepac on completion of the deal on 31 December.

In a separate transaction which is expected to complete in early 2013, Cepac is purchasing the business and assets of DS Smith’s specialist corrugated packaging plant at its Rawcliffe Bridge site, near Goole.  The plant will complement Cepac’s corrugated operations in Rotherham enabling Cepac to serve a wide range of customers across a number of sectors.

Cepac has also bought point of sale display manufacturer Screenprint Doncaster Limited.  Screenprint Doncaster designs and produces custom point of sale display units such as counter display units, floor display units, and pallet and dump bins for use by manufacturers and wholesalers of retail products nationwide.

Legal advice for Cepac was provided by Irwin Mitchell, led by corporate partner Matt Ainsworth, with partners Andrea Cropley and Dean Gormley and associate Emma Garth.   Grant Thornton provided financial and tax advice, whilst banking facilities were provided by Lloyds TSB. 

Matt Ainsworth of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said: “Cepac is already a very successful business and these acquisitions give it an even brighter future – this is truly a South Yorkshire deal and it’s fantastic that a Sheffield based team of advisers and funders has been able to work together seamlessly to make this happen.”

Rod Ainslie, managing director of Cepac, commented: "Having built up the business over the last 13 years, we have established a strong position in the industry, serving a solid base of FMCG customers.  The addition of the former DS Smith sites will enable us to operate an independent multi-plant network within the UK, satisfying customer demand with a wide and complementary range of market-leading products and enabling us to expand our customer base.”

Mr Ainslie continues:  “Establishing a long term and close relationship with Grant Thornton has proved vital to the successful conclusion of these deals and the fact that the firm has been able to provide a comprehensive service to cover all of our needs made the process run more smoothly.  Our legal advisors, Irwin Mitchell, have also provided immense support throughout these transactions and their experience and determination has been invaluable in finalising the deals.” 

Cepac, which is part of the HSA group of companies, has a turnover of more than £50m and produces ‘retailer friendly packaging’ for FMCG customers.  The company has established itself as an innovator, both in terms of performance technology and retail ready packaging, and its Rotherham plant is one of the largest and most technologically advance corrugated packaging plants in the world.