UK-based packaging company Rexam has provided further evidence of its commitment to the pharmaceutical sector with the purchase of Plastic Omnium Medical, a company specialising in plastic components for medical devices.
POM serves a number of European plastic pharmaceutical packaging market segments, including drug delivery devices and inhalers. It is one of the main suppliers of the multidose dry powder inhaler to GlaxoSmithKline, a product that is also supplied by Rexam.
Rexam will pay €32.5 million for POM, which is part of France's Compagnie Plastic Omnium group. The move follows Rexam's purchase of Risdon Pharma, whch makes eye droppers, nasal sprays and multidose dry powder inhalers, last June for €125 million.
POM operates one factory based in La Verpilliere, south of Lyon in France, and employs approximately 170 people. In 2003, it reported sales of €26 million (excluding tooling) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €5.4 million. As at 31 December 2003 its net operating assets were €16 million.
Commenting on the announcement, Rolf Borjesson, Rexam's chief executive (who will become chairman of the group in the next few days), said that the acquisition will make the company the joint number two supplier of pharmaceutical moulded plastic packaging in Europe.
Borjesson told In-Pharmatechnologist.com at the TOTAL 2004 exhibition last week that although pharmaceuticals is still a tiny portion of Rexam's business - with sales of less than $100 million (€82m) a year out of a group turnover of around $6 billion - it has many qualities that mean it remains a core focus for the group.
He noted that that Rexam's expansion in plastics is underpinning the move into small, IP-rich segments, including pharmaceuticals.