Limerick Packaging. Picture: Keith Wiseman

Zeus, the Irish-owned global packaging solutions company, has today announced the acquisition of Limerick Packaging, a leading supplier to the Irish industrial and transit packaging market. The acquisition marks an ongoing investment strategy by Zeus to expand its capabilities in the corrugated packaging sector across Ireland.

Zeus intends to comprehensively invest in its industrial and transit packaging offering, strengthening its current infrastructure through the acquisition of Limerick Packaging. To capitalise on the growth in this market on the island of Ireland, Zeus will invest in staff, design, and technical capabilities along with expanding the range of products and services available. Founded in 2002 by Connie Ryan and Mike Boland, Limerick Packaging has an annual turnover of €17.4 million. The business has strategically focused on providing corrugated packaging solutions to the health and food processing sectors. Established by Brian O’Sullivan in 1998, Zeus has an annualised turnover of €325 million and now employs 670 people worldwide.

Speaking on the announcement, Zeus CEO Keith Ockenden said: “The acquisition of Limerick Packaging is a major step in the next phase of our growth plan. Integrating both Limerick Packaging’s and Zeus’s industrial and transit packaging reach in Ireland, coupled with our foothold in the UK market, will deliver economies of scale, operational efficiencies, and customer service improvements. It will also allow us to provide a more comprehensive range of products and services for our combined customers. Zeus has sourcing capabilities across Europe and this move will realise greater supply chain security to our business within Ireland. The additional operations in Limerick will bring our total storage and distribution capacity to over 600,000sq ft throughout the country.”

“Growth in the home delivery sector is seeing demand for packaging increase by over 20%. It will better enable us to provide both bespoke and off-the-shelf solutions to Irish businesses and cements our ambition of becoming the leading industrial and transit packaging supplier across Ireland and the UK.”

The addition of Limerick Packaging’s 45 staff will bring Zeus’s personnel on the island of Ireland to 221. Earlier this year, Zeus completed a €40 million, two-year programme of strategic acquisitions with the purchase of Austrian firm Petruzalek, expanding the group’s distribution and logistics capabilities in food and industrial packaging across 26 countries world-wide.

Speaking on its investment in the industrial and transit packaging sector, Mr Ockenden added: “We are proud to be working with this successful, Irish-owned business which supports 45 jobs in the Limerick region. Limerick Packaging is renowned for its high level of customer service, providing bespoke optimised packaging solutions. The acquisition is complimented by a further €150,000 investment in our in-house CAD design capabilities. We have also recruited experienced packaging technologists who are trained in continuous improvement. Our experienced staff will provide a dedicated packaging design service, assessing and evaluating the needs of our customers, assisting in optimising packaging use and pack process efficiencies, encouraging more environmentally sustainable packaging solutions and ensure packaging works harder in maximising brand presentation and improving the customer ‘unboxing’ experience.”

Connie Ryan, Managing Director of Limerick Packaging said: “Zeus is a company that we have admired since we first started our business almost 20 years ago and we are excited with the opportunity to become part of the Zeus family. Our team are specialists in their field and are looking forward to sharing their insights and experience with the Zeus team. We are all incredibly excited for the new opportunities and capabilities that being part of this global company will offer, ultimately to the benefit of our valued customers.”

Assisting Zeus in the purchase of Limerick Packaging with funding, tax and legal advice, and financial due diligence were Sean O’Keeffe, Ulster Bank and OFX Solicitors in Cork.

The sale is subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

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