Europe's Bunzl Acquires PPE Distributor in US, Packaging Distributor in Ireland

The London-based distribution giant has added Tennessee-based MCR Safety and Dublin-based Abco Kovex.


LONDON β€” Bunzl plc, the specialist international distribution and services Group, announced Aug. 24 that it has entered into agreements to acquire a US-based safety business and a flexible packaging distributor in Ireland.

MCR Safety, which is based in Memphis, TN, is engaged in the distribution of a variety of largely own brand personal protection equipment and other safety products to distributors operating in a number of end user markets. In addition to the main US facility in Memphis and another in Arkansas, the business has operations in Mexico, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Colombia and Costa Rica. The products supplied are principally gloves, eye protection and workwear.

Bz Us1 001810 CmykBunzlIn 2019, the aggregate revenue for the businesses to be acquired, which overall trade at well above the North America business area average operating margin, was $248 million. Approximately 80 percent of the revenue relates to sales in the US. It is expected that the acquisition will be completed at the end of August 2020.

β€œThe acquisition of MCR Safety is an important development for Bunzl," said Frank van Zanten, Bunzl CEO. "It is a high-quality business with a strong leadership team and well-established portfolio of own brand products which will complement our existing product range and significantly strengthen and expand our safety operations both in the US and elsewhere."

Abco Kovex is a distributor of flexible packaging based in Dublin, Ireland but with operations also in the UK and is principally engaged in the sale of items such as stretchfilm, polythene and paper packaging and pallet wrap to a variety of end users in the food, construction, packaging, foodservice and pharmaceutical sectors. Revenue in 2019 was €23 million ($27 million). Completion of the acquisition is subject to clearance of the transaction by the Irish competition authority.

"The proposed acquisition of Abco Kovex will also complement our existing operations as it will enhance our product offering and expand our customer base both in Ireland and the UK which in turn will allow some cross-selling opportunities," van Zanten said. "With an experienced and knowledgeable management team, the business differentiates itself through continuous product innovation with a focus on sustainability."

"We look forward to welcoming both businesses and their employees to Bunzl," Van Zanten added.

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