Circular economy startup Program in India by FoodSystem6. Photo - Huhtamaki

The race among the most prominent global flexible packaging converters continues. Huhtamaki has agreed to acquire Elif Holding, a significant supplier of flexible packaging to international FMCG brand owners. Huhtamaki will purchase Elif for Euro 412 million in a debt-free condition. Huhtamäki has a bridge financing facility of US$ 500 million with Citi, an advisor to the deal, which is subject to the approval of Turkish government competition authorities.

Elif, founded in 1972, is a long-term supplier to global FMCG brands in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Elif’s 2020 sales were approximately Euro 163 million (Indian Rs. 1,369 crore). The company employs about 1,500 persons in Istanbul in Turkey and Cairo in Egypt. The company is also committed to sustainability and the ESG goals. The company is already a user of both industrially recycled inputs and post-consumer recycled polymers as inputs. In addition, it is active in collecting waste from its customers and is a significant producer of compostable films.

With this acquisition, Huhtamaki, like Amcor and Constantia, continues the acquisition spree of the largest flexible packaging converters as they strengthen themselves, especially in emerging regions and markets. All three are substantially invested and present in the fast-growing Indian flexible packaging industry.

Elif key to meeting Huhtamaki’s growth and sustainability targets

The acquisition aligns with Huhtamaki’s 2030 growth strategy as well as its sustainability targets. To the trade press, Charles Héaulmé, president and CEO of Huhtamaki, has said, “With a great portfolio, a strong focus on sustainability and high growth ambitions, Elif is a perfect fit for Huhtamaki. We are impressed by Elif’s focus on its customers with decades of strategic partnerships with blue-chip multinational companies who are leaders in their field and Elif’s strong and capable leadership team. In addition, our 2030 growth strategy is particularly focused on sustainability and competitiveness, which Elif strongly supports.

“I look forward to working with Elif’s management to continue their success under the new ownership. I am delighted to welcome Elif’s Group CEO Selçuk Yarangűmelioğlu, Elif’s Group CFO and MEA GM Mehmet Çayirezmez, the leadership team and the entire Elif organization to the Huhtamaki family. We are looking forward to build on the existing strong foundations together, to further grow the business and deliver innovative sustainable packaging solutions to current and new customers globally.”

Selçuk Yarangűmelioğlu, CEO of Elif, stated, “We are excited to join Huhtamaki, a company that shares our sustainability and growth vision. Elif has always been a dedicated partner for multinationals with a best-in-class asset base, service, and quality. Under new ownership, we will continue to deliver sustainable solutions to our customer base globally, enhance our focus on fast-growing emerging markets, realize synergies through scale and expand our capabilities.”

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As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

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The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.


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