Johnson Matthey today announces that on 18th May 2015 it acquired the StePac Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) business from DS Smith for £18.0 million, subject to typical post-closing adjustments. The transaction, which includes all assets of StePac, is an important step in the development of Johnson Matthey's Atmosphere Control Technologies business, which sits within the New Businesses Division.
StePac, which employs around 90 people, is a leading provider of modified atmosphere packaging which works closely with growers and distributors of fresh produce to develop, manufacture and supply application-specific products. The business is commercially active in over 60 countries and has manufacturing facilities in Israel and the US. In the year ended 30th April 2014 StePac had sales of around £15 million.
Atmosphere control technologies for shelf life extension in the fresh produce supply chain is one of Johnson Matthey's new business areas where there is an attractive market for the development of advanced packaging solutions that can prolong life and thereby reduce food waste.
The acquisition of StePac complements Johnson Matthey's expertise in functional materials extremely well, bringing post-harvest expertise and IP in the area of polymer based MAP products. In addition, StePac has an established network of relationships across the fresh produce supply chain which will inform future technology and product development.
These provide a strong platform of complementary technical skills and market access to enable Johnson Matthey to accelerate the selection, development and commercialisation of new technologies. We expect our Atmosphere Control Technologies business to deliver sales of around £20 million in 2015/16 and, after taking account of integration costs, the business should make a small operating profit in the year.
Commenting on the transaction, Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey said: "The acquisition of StePac is an important step in the development of our Atmosphere Control Technologies business. The combination of Johnson Matthey's expertise in advanced materials and StePac's complementary technical and applications knowledge will enable us to develop new, sustainable technologies for customers in the fresh produce supply chain that prolong shelf life and reduce waste."
Sally Jones, Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
+44 20 7269 8407
David Allchurch, Tulchan Communications
+44 20 7353 4200