Glasgow’s Macfarlane Group to expand reach in England

A Macfarlane Group lorry
A Macfarlane Group lorry
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Scottish packaging group Macfarlane Group has raised £5.8 million from shareholders in an oversubscribed placing to fund its third takeover deal within four months.

The Glasgow firm is paying up to £6.75m to buy Leicester-based Nelsons for Cartons and Packaging. The move is in line with Macfarlane’s strategy to develop its presence in the UK protective packaging market which services customers in sectors including the food industry.

Macfarlane said Nelsons has good access throughout the Midlands region and that there was very little customer overlap between the two companies.

Chief executive Peter Atkinson said: “The addition of Nelsons Packaging to the Macfarlane Group is another significant step forward in our growth strategy.

“Nelsons is a high quality business and in addition to improving the Macfarlane presence in the East Midlands, the Nelson team bring specific expertise in corrugate packaging applications which will be of wider benefit to Macfarlane.” Ben Thefaut of house broker Arden said the trio of deals the company has completed since April “highlight an opportunity-rich corporate landscape for Macfarlane” which will enable it to increase market share and earnings.

The firm also updated on trading yesterday and said group sales in the year to date have grown by 3 per cent.

Although it said market conditions continued to be subdued, that was more than offset by recent acquisitions and it is confident of meeting expectations for 2016.