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Aussie packaging start-up snapped up as RPC continues global charge

By RJ Whitehead , 21-Apr-2017

Aussie packaging start-up snapped up as RPC continues global charge

A Melbourne food packaging start-up has been acquired by RPC for an undisclosed sum—the latest purchase by the global plastics player in a frenzied buying spree.

Amber Plastics was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Malcolm Prior, who has spent about 50 years in the packaging business. He will remain chief executive for at least the next two years under British-based RPC’s ownership.

His first business, Priority Plastics, was the first to manufacture in-mould labelling and blow-moulding in Australia when it launched in 1976. After selling that he launched Baroda Manufacturing to supply pails, lids and cartridges for the food service, oil, and grease industries, which he sold in 2006, though he remained at the company.

Amber, a leading supplier of injection-moulded plastic packaging containers to the dairy and food industry, will now become part of RPC’s Superfos division, and will supply both the food and non-food markets.

Amber is the second big purchase by RPC since February, when it made a bid for Letica’s 13 American plants in a deal valued at US$640m. That was the sixth acquisition in as many months as it sets out to grow expansively beyond its European redoubt.

Prior confirmed to Plastics News that the Amber purchase had gone through, and that he would stay at the company he founded.

I’ve got rid of the risk, but can keep working,” he told the industry news service. “I have no plans to retire. There’s no need; I enjoy what I do.”

He said he had set out to sell the business and chose RPC from a short-list of three suitors due to the company’s commitment to retain Amber’s 40 employees.

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