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BCS buyout boosts Kolbus into packaging

Wednesday, 03 October 2018
By Jake Nelson

Perfect match: Kai Buntemeyer, Kolbus

German bookbinding machinery giant Kolbus Group has taken a big step in its pivot to packaging with its purchase of Autobox, owner of British Converting Solutions (BCS).

The buyout adds the range of short-run packaging machinery BCS supplies to the Kolbus stable, and gives BCS access to wider resources from Kolbus, including its sales and distribution network.

Neil Southerington, Asia-Pacific manager at BCS, says the merger is good news for Australian and New Zealand clients. “It means more than just improved delivery times – hopefully, rather than being tied up with just delivering machines, we expect that our research and development investment will also grow,” he said.

BCS has been in operation for 35 years, moving into Australia in 2015; it recently sold its 50th machine in the region. Its equipment is designed for short-run boxes with just-in-time delivery. “It’s only in the last 10 years that the end buyer has demanded 500 boxes a week rather than 10,000 once a year, and that’s the sort of machine we supply,” said Southerington.

Kai Buntemeyer (pictured above), co-owner and managing director of Kolbus, described BCS-Autobox as a perfect match for the German manufacturer. “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,” he said. “We expect BCS-Autobox to become our fastest-growing segment.”

Neil Southerington: Good deal

According to Southerington, one driver of just-in-time on-demand boxes has been e-commerce. “Every business that makes something nowadays has an online store. They want box suppliers who can deliver small orders just in time. We fit that niche.”

Southerington is optimistic about the future of BCS following the Kolbus buyout. “Onwards and upwards, it’s all good news. Reduced delivery times, more in-house components, a bigger sales base. It’s all positive,” he said.

“A good deal for Kolbus, and a good deal for BCS.”

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