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Munich investor Blue Cap acquires thin-wall cups specialist Uniplast Knauer

German thin-wall plastics packaging producer Uniplast Knauer GmbH should receive a welcome capital boost and a chance of fresh development under the new ownership of Blue Cap AG investment group.

The leading moulder of plastic cups, particularly for the dairy sector, headquartered in Dettingen, Germany, has been sold off by the Knauer family to the Munich-based investor and industrial holding group for an undisclosed sum.

The packaging firm, founded in 1968 by Alfred Knauer to make plastic and paper cups, was later led by one of his two sons, Karlheinz Knauer until last year.

For Knauer Holding GmbH., with its core thermoforming and injection moulding business Uniplast, the latest takeover offers refinancing along with new growth, development and a move into new packaging segments.

The takeover comes just over three years after Knauer was forced to restructure the group following a costly diversion into film and metal foil printing and finishing through a new subsidiary Uniprint. In 2015, Leutkirch-based Uniprint, with a 75-strong workforce, filed for bankruptcy as the ill-fated venture failed.

Since then, Knauer group has been in recovery and growing with the help of fresh top management and a renewed focus on the core Uniplast packaging business.  It operates two plants producing a range of thin-wall cups and lids, chiefly for the food sector, at Dettingen and at Bad Laasphe, North Rhine-Westphalia.

“With the entry of Blue Cap, new opportunities for development arise for our company and thus the opportunity to tap into other market segments in the packaging industry, even outside our established markets,” said Uniplast Knauer’s CEO Christoph Riess and managing director Andreas Doster.

Blue Cap’s CEO Hannspeter Schubert agreed. “With the technology and development expertise of Uniplast Knauer we also want to offer packaging solutions outside the established markets of the food industry – such as the pharmaceutical sector,” he said.

Uniplast Knauer should continue to exist “as a well-known, reliable packaging specialist” and as an independent company, added the Blue Cap executive.

The listed Munich industrial holding has a portfolio of 11 companies including firms in the coating, medical technology and production engineering areas.  One company, the adhesives producer Planatol GmbH., already serves the packaging industry.

» Publication Date: 03/05/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606350].

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