UK packaging company acquired by Swiss thermoformer
As of 1 May 2008, Clear Packaging Ltd, a specialist plastic carton lid, base and sleeve manufacturer located in Coventry, UK, will be called Stager Clear Packaging. This follows the company’s acquisition by Stager, a firm specialising in thermoformed plastic packaging in Muri, Switzerland. It brings together Clear’s recycled PET (rPET) technology with Stager’s processing methods.
‘It’s a good fit, because Stager has a lot of expertise in different shapes of packaging, such as drums, tubes, cylinders and conical shapes,’ says Neil Farmer, Sales and Marketing Director for Clear. ‘We believe the UK consumer goods market would be interested in these packs.’
Clear Packaging, which was formed in 2000, employs 25 people and was Starpack’s Business of the Year in 2007. It has made a name for itself by producing a rPET product made from 50-60% post-consumer bottle waste. ‘Clear is the first in its sector to be offering this rPET solution,’ says Farmer.
‘[Recycled PET] costs the same as virgin amorphous PET, and its performance characteristics are identical, so there are clear advantages of going down the rPET route,’ he adds. ‘And it has become popular with supermarkets because of their environmental mantra.’
Meanwhile, Stager, which formed in 1970 as a plastics carton producer, began making thermoformed packaging in 1983. While there are already a few UK companies that offer rounded and cylindrical PET packs, Stager is unique in its added-value processing, says Farmer.
‘They do a lot of high-quality prints, like litho printing, and decorative techniques such as embossing and foil-blocking. These packs are up-market and add value to the product on the shelf,’ he says.
The company, which has a turnover of around £15m, has sales offices in Germany and a partnership with a manufacturing plant in Turkey. It has been looking to branch into the UK market and signed a deal with Clear in October 2007 to work together on new products, which later evolved into a full acquisition.
‘Clear will remain in Coventry and the management team there will continue forward,’ says Farmer. ‘The design studios in Coventry and Switzerland will work together to create ideas that can be delivered to customers in 24 hours.’