Wednesday 20 November 2019

Dermot Smurfit invests €1m in Irish paper business months after MBO

Dermot Smurfit brings experience to the sector
Dermot Smurfit brings experience to the sector

Sarah McCabe

Dr Dermot Smurfit has invested €1m in Irish paper-distribution company GMPI, formerly known as Paperlinx.

The former deputy chairman of Smurfit Kappa, brother of Michael Smurfit and father to gambling entrepreneur Dermot Junior and actress Victoria, is taking a 49pc stake in GMPI as part of the transaction.

GMPI sells paper to commercial printer and supplies sign materials to sign makers.

The business has a turnover of €32m and employs 40 staff in the Republic and 12 in Northern Ireland.

The Irish unit was bought from its Australian parent earlier this year by its management, after the UK division of the same group had gone into administration. The investment will allow it to expand and seek acquisitions.

Managing director and majority shareholder Enda Brophy said the industry was now ripe for consolidation.

"Customers will welcome this news, as it strengthens the level of competition in the market" said Brophy.

"The higher-margin graphic materials business, representing approximately 40pc of group turnover, has seen strong growth, which is expected to continue.

"GPMI will target growth opportunities in the industry and expects to increase its share of the paper market through acquisitions and consolidation opportunities. Recent years have seen limited activity in the sector."

Smurfit brings vast experience and understanding of the sector to the business, Brophy added.

Smurfit is also chairman and a significant shareholder in Powerflute, the AIM-listed packaging business.

GMPI has also added a new board member, Stephen Mason.

Sunday Indo Business

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