Uflex Ltd, India’s largest flexible packaging company, is looking at 2-3 major acquisitions in the US and European markets. The company has already earmarked Rs 1,250 crore for fuelling its expansion plans in India and abroad, both organically and through buyouts.

“We are talking to a few players in North America and Europe. We are aware about several large players in these geographies, which are looking at exiting the packaging business, given the huge competition from within their country as well as the Asian players,” said R. K. Jain, Group President, Uflex.

Market overcrowded

The pace of consolidation in the European and American packaging industry through mergers and acquisitions has accelerated over the last few years, even as the market is overcrowded with the top 20 converted flexible packaging suppliers, estimated to account for around 60 per cent of the European market, said industry players. There are over 400 firms in the US alone.

Jain said if things work well enough, the company could ink a deal this fiscal.

Uflex, whose total income FY12 stood at Rs 4,543, is also keen to doubling its revenues by FY14. The growth, Jain said, would come in a major part from its international operations. It has five production units in India, Egypt, Dubai, Mexico and Poland, and is in process of commissioning its sixth unit in Kentucky, US.

“However, the Indian market is also growing at 18-20 per cent yearly and with FDI in retail, the market is all set to explode,” Jain said, and added that the food and consumer durables are sectors where there is no slowdown.

During the financial year ended March 31, 2012, Uflex registered a growth of 30 per cent in consolidated net revenues at Rs 4,543 crore, against Rs 3,540 crore of the previous year, on the back of favourable demand trends globally.

priyanka.pani@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 8, 2012)
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