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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Wigton's Innovia Films up for sale - reports

The owner of Wigton’s Innovia Films is reported to be seeking a buyer for the business.

Innovia photo
Innovia makes cellulose and polypropylene film

Arle Capital Partners has hired the German bank Deutsche Bank to manage the sale process.

The Financial Times reports that the sale could raise in excess of 500m euros (£427 million), although Arle and Deutsche Bank have declined to comment.

Innovia is one of Cumbria’s largest employers.

The company manufactures cellulose and polypropylene film.

Cellulose film is used extensively as wrapping in the food and tobacco industries.

Applications for polypropylene film include its use as a base material for bank notes in 21 countries including Australia, Canada and Mexico.

Innovia has a wholly-owned subsidiary, Innovia Security, previously known as Securency, which was originally a joint venture with the Reserve Bank of Australia set up specifically to exploit this market.

The material makes the bank notes untearable and water resistant.

They also contain a clear window, making them difficult to counterfeit.

It is understood that Arle plans to sell Innovia Security and the Wigton manufacturing and research-and-development operation as a single entity.

Innovia has annual sales of more than £340m.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation are around £60m.

The group employs 1,350 people – the vast majority of them at Wigton, which is its headquarters.

The business, originally British Rayophane and later British Sidac, added the polypropylene plant in 1970 in what was then a joint venture with ICI.

Soon after that British Sidac was acquired by the Belgian company Union Chemie Belgique (UCB).

UCB remained the owner until 2004, when the business was sold to its management team in a £212m deal backed by the venture capital group Candover Investments. They renamed it Innovia.

Candover’s portfolio is now managed by Arle Capital Partners, a private-equity partnership formed via a buyout of the Candover subsidiary Candover Partners in 2011. Arle manages more than £2 billionn worth of investments worldwide.

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