Grant Thornton and Birketts advise the shareholders of H Erben Limited in respect of the strategic sale to Berlin Packaging

07 March 2018

Grant Thornton Corporate Finance and Birketts are delighted to have advised the shareholders of H Erben Limited, the Hadleigh-based specialist supplier of closures, packaging and packaging equipment to the food and beverages sector, on the strategic sale to Berlin Packaging, the leading full-service supplier of glass, plastic, and metal containers and closures. For the year ended 31 December 2017, H Erben Limited generated annual revenues in excess of £30m.

Berlin Packaging is a $2.6bn global supplier of rigid packaging products and services to customers of all types across all sectors. The company has a stronghold in North America, where it has operated since 1898, and also has a European headquarters in Milan, Italy. In 2016, Berlin acquired Bruni Glass, a leading supplier of premium and specialty glass containers and accessories. 

With the completed Erben acquisition, the combined company has offices spread throughout Europe, including Italy, France, Spain, and now the UK, to go alongside locations in South Africa, China, and across North America. This acquisition offers many benefits to the customers and suppliers of Berlin Packaging, Bruni Glass, and Erben alike.  

“Sasha Erben leads an extraordinary company that not only shares our focus on quality, service, and results for customers, but also has a culture that delights in serving and growing powerfully in the marketplace,” said Andrew Berlin, Chairman and CEO of Berlin Packaging. “Adding Erben to the Berlin enterprise shows our commitment to acquire the best businesses in the packaging industry along with our proven approach to organic growth.” 

H. Erben Ltd. has more than six decades worth of experience supplying packaging and machinery to the wine, beer, and spirits markets, and has seen tremendous growth over the past decade under the leadership of Sasha Erben. With 2017 turnover almost quadruple that of levels in 2007, H. Erben Ltd. shipped more than 1 billion units of packaging last year.

“H. Erben Ltd. was started by my father in 1951 and is the jewel in my family,” said Sasha Erben, H. Erben Ltd.’s CEO. “I am excited about combining our company with Berlin Packaging, as I know together we can accelerate investments in our products, team, and capabilities like never before.” 

 All employees and locations will be retained, and Erben’s leadership, including Sasha Erben, will be continuing on in the same capacity. 

 Commenting on the transaction, Tim Hansell, Head of Advisory at Grant Thornton in Norwich said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sasha and the Erben team to help shape this transaction with Berlin Packaging, in what proved to be a complex deal structuring process.” 

Sasha Erben, Managing Director of H Erben Limited added: “We are delighted with the outcome on this transaction and thank Tim and his team at Grant Thornton for their expert advice and negotiation skills in making this deal happen. We look forward to the next stage of our strategic growth as part of the Berlin family.” 

Mark Henry led the team at Birketts which advised the Erben family on the legal aspects of the deal.  

Commenting on Birketts involvement on the transaction, Sasha Erben added: “We were delighted with how Mark Henry and his team at Birketts looked after us and delivered the deal on a tight transaction timescale.”

This article is from the spring 2018 issue of Inside Out, our newsletter for those with an interest in corporate and commercial services. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website.

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