Kolbus Group has acquired Autobox Machinery, for an undisclosed price, and with it British Converting Solutions (BCS), the main operating company of Autobox.

BCS manufactures corrugated box making, printing and glueing machines. Kai Büntemeyer, co-owner and managing director of Kolbus, says, “BCS-Autobox is a perfect match for Kolbus. While there is absolutely no overlap between the companies’ product ranges, BCS-Autobox fits perfectly between the highly specialised grey-board packaging technology from Kolbus-Germany and the rotary die-cutters made by our American Hycorr division. We expect BCS-Autobox to become our fastest-growing segment and our footprint in the UK is set to continue to expand after this acquisition.”

Neil Southerington, manager for Asia Pacific BCS, says, “From the UK, BCS-Autobox develops cutting edge technology for the specialist short run box market. With more than 80 per cent of production going into export market, the company has enjoyed world-wide success. BCS has seen 20-plus per cent plus growth per annum over the last six years, culminating in the Queens award for exports.”

He says the deal will enable BCS to meet its orders in a fast evolving market. He adds, “Kolbus is a well-respected company with solid engineering and it has manufactured heavy duty bindery equipment for many years, so this is a good marriage. Kolbus has the capacity to allow our growth in this market to continue. For example, Kolbus has its own casting plant.

“And for our New Zealand and Australian customers, it will be business as usual. I am going there in November for a meeting and I am looking forward to seeing the operation. Here, we have a big share of that short run box market and we will keep working on that.”

BCSAutobox will become part of Kolbus’s corrugated technology division, which also operates a factory in the US. Barry Tabor, managing director of BCS, says, “The acquisition of the business by the Kolbus Group provides an exciting opportunity for BCS-Autobox to realise its full potential on a truly worldwide basis. Being part of the Kolbus Group gives us access to its international sales and service network. In addition, its impressive components manufacturing capabilities in Rahden, Germany will enable the BCS-Autobox factories in the UK to significantly increase our production capacity. We shall also have additional design engineering resources to enable us to expand even further, our R&D programme. I shall remain as managing director and I am very much looking forward to working with Kolbus to further grow the BCS-Autobox business.”

Southerington concludes, “We have always said it should take 60 seconds to set up any job and we already have two colour in line digital and are currently doing research and development on in line glue and tape application. Finished boxes in-line with no die forme or plates.”

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