The first transaction is aimed at strengthening its presence in the Asian market, the second is a further step to reinforce its research, development, and innovation capabilities in the RFID, printed electronics, and advanced research on paper substrates
The Fedrigoni Group, the world’s leading producer of high-end specialty papers for luxury packaging and other creative applications, premium labels, and self-adhesive materials, has entered into two strategic agreements: firstly, a manufacturing partnership with a specialty paper mill, producer of translucent papers in Quzhou, Zhejiang province, China. As part of the deal, Fedrigoni has provided a loan to an acquisition vehicle, set up by two former Arjowiggins senior executives, in consideration for a call option giving Fedrigoni the option to take over the company in the longer term. Secondly, the acquisition of a dedicated research and development centre in Grenoble, France, which will allow Fedrigoni to boost its product innovation roadmap in RFID, printed electronics, and advanced research on paper substrates. Both realities were formerly part of the Arjowiggins Group, which filed for administration last September.
With 130 employees and an annual production capacity of 7,000 tonnes, the Quzhou mill is a world-leading manufacturer of translucent papers (sold under the brands Gateway, Idem and Sylvicta) for applications ranging from industrial design and graphic applications to packaging for food, consumer electronics and luxury products. Fedrigoni will therefore strengthen its presence in the Asian market – where the group already has a wide distribution network in China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, 11 warehouses and a self-adhesive materials production plant in Hefei – with its first paper mill in China. Besides strengthening its geographical footprint in Asia, this transaction will lead Fedrigoni to further expand its product portfolio in the translucent papers segment by acquiring manufacturing capabilities, which has the potential to increasingly replace plastic in packaging as a fully recyclable mono-material thanks to the award winning Sylvicta brand. Product innovation linked to the transition from plastic to paper is one of the largest investment areas for Fedrigoni and a key pillar of its ESG strategy and roadmap towards 2030.
On the other hand, the acquisition of the dedicated R&D Centre in Grenoble – with its people, equipment, patents, and brands, including the related Powercoat brand – will enhance Fedrigoni’s capabilities in testing and prototyping RFID, printed electronics, and advanced research on paper substrates. The applications of this highly innovative and promising segment are countless, both in the self-adhesive labels and luxury packaging markets. It is instrumental to find solutions to protect brands, verify their authenticity and prevent counterfeiting. It is also crucial to ensure the traceability of products and goods, as well as for sustainability purposes (e.g., monitoring of transport-related carbon footprints). And finally, an element increasingly required by brands is the ability to provide end consumers with an exclusive and personalized experience through the introduction of cutting-edge digital interactions. Thanks to this acquisition, Fedrigoni will also augment its research, development, and innovation capabilities in alternative pulp-based materials, benefitting from the relationships established within the existing ecosystem, particularly in the Grenoble area, such as the International Paper Engineering School Grenoble INP-PAGORA, or the Pulp and Paper Research & Technical Centre (CTP).
Fedrigoni – in spite of the situation of world instability and geopolitical volatility – continues its path of strategic expansion to consolidate its position as a global player in specialty papers after the recent acquisitions of Guarro Casas in Spain (formerly part of Arjowiggins Group), Papeterie Zuber Rieder in France, and the industrial partnership with Mohawk Fine Papers in the USA.