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Merger partners claim deal will create France’s number one healthcare packaging manufacturer

Copapharm Europe SCRL shareholders and subsidiaries of the French group Ileos, Packart and Rotanotice, have announced a merger to form a new specialist pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging producer.

Described as “ a new force’ in the packaging and labelling sector, Packetis will be headquartered at the Rotanotice site at Isle D’Espagnac in France and brings together the folding carton and wedging system expertise of Packart and the patient information leaflet and adhesive label manufacturing skills of Rotanotice. Packart had a 2006 turnover of €46.5m, with 78% of sales derived from pharmaceutical packaging activities, while 95% of Rotanotice’s €21.8m 2006 turnover was accounted for by pharma packaging sales. Both companies are part of French group Ileos, one of the country’s leading packaging suppliers to the fragrance, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.

The two firms say the merger has come about in response to the growing requirement for suppliers to be able to offer a complete range of pharmaceutical and healthcare “components”, including folding cartons, leaflets, wedging systems and labels, to their customers. The partners say they intend to optimise their commercial, administrative and industrial resources and “reinforce’ their financial resources to accelerate the new company’s development “in France and internationally”.

Packetis will operate from five factories, in Chazelles, Valréas, Isle D’Espagnac and Soyaux, with a combined headcount of around 600. Day-to-day operations will be headed by general manager Emmanuel Herbinet. The companies believe the merger will create “France’s number one healthcare packaging manufacturer”.

Rotanotice’s wide-ranging portfolio of labels includes reel-fed, multi-page and folded variants, while Packart is widely viewed as among France’s leading folding carton producers for the pharma sector. The combined customer base includes such big names as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sanofi-Aventis and Famar.

Founded in 1997, Copapharm Europe, of which both companies are members, is an alliance of 10 leading European pharmaceutical packaging businesses established to optimise logistics and customer service in packaging supply, share resources and raise standards. Figures for 2006 show an 8.5% increase in the alliance’s turnover, reportedly achieved “purely through organic growth”. Last year the alliance, which employs around 2,200, produced 5.2bn cartons, 3.5bn leaflet and 1.6bn labels.