In the space of three years, Berlin Packaging has snapped up some 20 companies in Europe’s glass, plastic and metal sectors. The North American group’s external growth strategy is set to accelerate this year with a dozen acquisitions in the pipeline. Some of these will be in the luxury goods sector, says Eric Citone, CEO Berlin France.
Novio Packaging (Netherlands) in 2019, Roma International, Raepak Limited (England) and Premi (Italy) joined the portfolio of Berlin Packaging in 2021. Having entered the European luxury goods landscape in 2016 with the acquisition of Bruni Glass, the North American distributor of plastic, glass and metal packaging will have acquired no less than 20 companies in the EMEA zone in the space of just three years.
While most of the companies in the group's sights operate in the mass glass food packaging market - the emblematic Le Parfait jars or Gerfran, supplier of bottles mainly for the wine industry - with Premi, Berlin Packaging confirms its ambitions for the beauty market, and the overall luxury market. Premi, a Milan-based company with a presence in the US and in Asia, offers turnkey solutions for the beauty industry ranging from formulation, prototyping and branding.
“The cosmetics market has a real need for turnkey solutions," notes Citone, "but we’re seeing the same trend in spirits, which is currently driving our position in the luxury segment; spirits now represents 12% of our turnover and is seeing steady growth.”
Berlin Packaging announced plans to “significantly expand” its beauty busines at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna this April. The supplier unveiled Berlin Beauty Industries, its newly minted division that aims to become a “one-stop-shop” for beauty companies. “With Berlin Packaging Premi Industries as the first step, the aim is to replicate Berlin Packaging’s organic and inorganic growth in this new beauty division,” Alessandro Prestini, CEO of Berlin | Premi Industries, told Luxe Packaging Insight. “We will first target organic growth, then external growth, working on different pillars: primary and secondary packaging, decoration, formulation and brand development to build a one-stop-shop”, he explained.
While until the 2010s Berlin Packaging operated mainly in the US, the group - owned by investment fund Oak Hill Capital Partners - currently has 130 sales offices around the world. Of these, 60 are in Europe and around 10 in France, where Berlin's turnover has risen from €3m in 2011 to a forecasted €150m in 2022. “At the end of the 2021 financial year, Berlin Europe will have a turnover close to $1bn," adds Citone, "versus $170m in 2016.”
From a materials standpoint, Berlin Packaging, which works with more than 900 international manufacturers, is seeing heightened interest in glass packaging. "At present in Europe, in terms of both volume and value, glass is leading the way. This contrasts with the other side of the Atlantic, where plastic still dominates, even if this situation is beginning to change,” notes Citone.
Creation and innovation are another area of focus. The group’s in-house design studio has created different models for the wine segment (Itinera range) and spirits (Sublime collection). “We offer our partners' stock products as well as in-house designed stock or custom developments and also provide the technical support, whether it involves glass shapes, decorations or closures.”
Among the latest launches under the Berlin Packaging banner are Christopher Columbus (a cognac from Kelt International), Grace Gin, Boukman rum and a series of bottles for the traditional Pastis 12/12 in the premium segment in France.
Stay tuned for news on Berlin Packaging next acquisitions.