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  • 03 Apr 2015

A unified, more powerful Constantia Labels

Following a number of key international acquisitions, Constantia Flexibles is moving to accelerate growth as a unified premier labels brand.

Constantia Flexibles Label Division is one of the biggest converters in the world. Its revenue is in excess of 500 million EUR (650 million USD) and it has 19 locations scattered throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. The business has refined its ability to service the beverage markets with wet-glue paper and wrap-around labels, and delivers award-winning expertise in in-mold label manufacturing for a variety of markets.

The Label Division operates as one of three within Constantia Flexibles, a large international provider of flexible packaging headquartered in Austria with pharmaceutical and food packaging divisions. The multi-billion dollar business has grown into a transnational, multi-faceted packaging player predominantly by way of strategic acquisitions, and with its latest transaction the company will have a significant impact on the global label market.

In spring 2013, Constantia Flexibles acquired Spear, a prominent US-based label converter whose brand name is synonymous with pressure-sensitive labels and innovation in the global beverage market. ‘The combination was a perfect fit with the only overlap being joint global customers,’ says Rick Spear, strategic director, Constantia Flexibles Label Division.

Mike Henry, executive vice president of Constantia Flexibles Label Division, served as the financial director for the bourgeoning Spear business that grew by 400 percent in the 13 years prior to the merger. In his new role, Henry is charged with integrating the various legacy companies that make up the Label Division as well as directing technical collaboration for advancement across all groups. Spear adds, ‘Mike brings a new strategy of centralized management and execution. In the past Constantia Flexibles label companies operated as independent entities. The new path forward is to leverage our strengths as one company and one brand.’

Henry reorganized the label group to operate regionally in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Henry explains, ‘Now we have the resources to take advantage of the opportunities for growth. We have plans to expand geographically as well as invest in new technologies to bring innovations and a global label portfolio to our customers. This is not just financial but technical, and consists of human resources and an existing international presence from which we can build on.’

Sharing expertise

The legacy brands of Constantia’s label business have been known as operational leaders in label technologies other than pressure sensitive. The labels division commenced in 1993 with the purchase of Haendler & Natermann (H&N) in Germany. In April 2015 the company announced the rebranding of its global label operations under the parent name.

Prior to the Spear acquisition, it was the largest label business in the group focused on cut & stack paper and foil labels, and foil neck capsules. The business expanded by opening a facility in Eastern Germany, known as Constantia Labels, to produce wrap, shrink and PS labels.

As clients sought out suppliers to support them in emerging markets, Contantia Labels opened a new facility in Malaysia and H&N launched a site in Suzchou, China. Both primarily service the local markets with cut & stack and some wrap labels. Operations and sales in Asia are managed by H&N.

Verstraete

Verstraete is the world leader of injection in-mold label technology accounting for almost half of the global share. With the product offering and customers, there is no overlap, so it’s been decided that the business will remain branded outside of Constantia Flexibles Label Division.

The in-mold experts are based in Belgium and have two locations, with plans to open a facility in the US in 2015. The business is mainly focused on injection in-mold technology, but does produce labels for blow mold and thermoform mold packaging.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danielle Jerschefske is Labels & Labeling's sustainability consultant.

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