Amsterdam-based Arcola, a private equity firm, announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Straatweg Group, a Dutch manufacturer of speciality plastic components for the food, healthcare, and sustainable energy industries.
Straatweg Group has a manufacturing site in China and recently opened a new production facility in Breukelen, The Netherlands, to better serve its customers in Asia, Europe, and the US. Some of the group’s brands include Orange Plastics, Qbig Packaging, IBC Store, and Used to create New.
“The global flexible packaging industry, valued at approximately $150B (€141.7B) in 2021, is forecast to generate strong revenue growth over the coming years, primarily driven by a market shift towards more speciality packaging in the food and healthcare product segments. The Straatweg Group’s activities fit squarely within these high-growth areas,” says Benoît Lammens, founder of Arcola.
“Through the smart application of technology, selective acquisitions and by strengthening existing and building new international strategic partnerships, we believe the Straatweg Group is well-positioned to outperform the wider market’s growth trajectory,” adds Lammens.
Flexible packaging market opportunities
Flexible packaging is a modern, cost-effective way to package goods using non-rigid materials. It is popular for its versatility and ability to protect products from damage. The packaging is made from a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and paper.
Market research reports the value of the global flexible packaging market at €235.5B ($248.9B) in 2022. The same study projects the market to reach €298.3B ($315.5B) by 2027 with a 4.8 per cent CAGR during the forecast period.
The market growth is attributed to its versatility to be formed into various shapes and sizes, such as pouches, bags, and sachets, that the food and health industry needs. Flexible packaging films and pouches also offer excellent resistance against punctures and tears, and their seals help prevent spoilage and wastage to protect food flavour and texture.
Flexible packaging can use up to 75 per cent less energy and produce one-tenth of the amount of carbon dioxide emissions compared to metal cans. It also requires less water and energy to manufacture and can reduce food waste.
Assisting SMEs achieve robust growth
Private equity investors can find outsized opportunities in the SME sector, which is often overlooked and hard to access. By identifying niche market champions and working with strong management teams, private equity investors can help these companies achieve robust future growth and returns.
Arcola says it partners with experienced entrepreneurs in related industries to support its portfolio companies in Benelux. The entrepreneurs provide deep market insights, extensive networks, and co-investment opportunities, while Arcola gives the portfolio companies access to capital and resources.
In the Straatweg Group acquisition, Arcola partnered with entrepreneur and investor Marc van der Put, founder and former CEO of 2Connect.
“A decisive factor in our decision to partner with Arcola was the unique combination of private equity growth know-how with the proven entrepreneurial business-building expertise that co-investor Marc van der Put brings to the table. This represents a real added value for us in supporting the Straatweg Group as we continue to build our national and international market presence over the coming years,” says Straatweg Group co-owner Jaap Sondaar.