Wednesday 13 December 2017

Kelleher's Dakota Packaging sold off to UK firm Essentra

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin-based Dakota Packaging has been acquired by the UK firm Essentra for an undisclosed sum.

Dakota was owned by its CEO Colum Kelleher and operations director Brendan Mowles.

Essentra said it has acquired all of the share capital of Dakota, on a cash-free, debt-free basis. Dakota supplies printed, folding and litho-laminate cartons to pharmaceutical and healthcare customers. Its clients include drugs giant Allergan, French pharma firm Servier Laboratories and Stiefel, part of GlaxoSmithkline.

A FTSE-250 company, Essentra said the acquisition of Dakota reinforced its packaging division's product range and also provided "significant additional scale" in the Irish market.

Dakota, which employs close to 100 people, has been on the go since 1948.

Essentra said that in the 12 months to the end of September, Dakota generated revenue of €15.2m. That's virtually unchanged on the previous financial year, when revenue totalled €15.3m. In that financial year, Dakota made a €1.8m operating profit. Exceptional charges of €2.3m drove it to a loss, however.

Colin Day, the chief executive of Essentra, said the purchase of Dakota was consistent with the British company's strategy of supplementing balanced, profitable organic growth with value-creating transactions.

Essentra paid £160m (€191m) earlier this year to buy another packaging firm, Contego Healthcare.

"Dakota is not only a compelling fit with our recent acquisition of Contego Healthcare in the attractive growth healthcare and pharmaceutical packaging sector, but also reinforces our position in the sizeable Irish market," added Mr Day.

Irish Independent

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