The bank Santander UK has provided a multi-million-pound funding package to Malvern-based Lucart Hygiene in England to support its growth in the ‘away from home’ tissue paper industry.
The company – formerly Essential Supply Products – was acquired by Italian paper manufacturing giant Lucart SpA in March 2021, marking the group’s entrance into the UK market. Lucart group is a family-run business established in 1953 and is Europe’s seventh-largest tissue paper producer, with capacity to manufacture 390,000 tonnes of tissue annually.
The funding from Santander UK supports the refinancing of Lucart Hygiene’s manufacturing facility at Blackmore Park as well as providing an invoice finance facility to aid the business’ working capital.
Lucart Hygiene manufactures and supplies tissue paper-based products and dispenser systems to businesses, primarily wholesalers spanning a wide range of industries in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Its products include ‘away from home’-use toilet paper, hand towels, face tissues, napkins and industrial rolls for use in restaurants, gyms, factories, offices, cleaning companies, and the healthcare sector.
The business is focused on expanding in the ‘away from home’ tissue market, with its Lucart Professional product range playing a key role in the wider group’s aim to consolidate its position as the second biggest company in this market in Europe. This target is supported by the production and commercial efficiencies that have been created by Lucart Hygiene’s integration into the global Lucart group. The group has ten production plants and a logistic centre across Italy, France, Hungary, Spain and Germany, as well as the UK, collectively employing a staff of more than 1700.
In its first nine months operating as Lucart Hygiene, the business turned over £21.8m, and is forecast to achieve annual turnover of £37m by the end of this year. Its longer-term goal is to achieve annual turnover of £50m within the next five years, and to eventually invest in a paper mill in the UK.
Sustainability is a strong focus for Lucart Hygiene and the wider group. Almost 50% of paper manufactured by Lucart group is produced from recycled material, and it holds several licences and approvals, including the EU Ecolabel (label of environmental excellence), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and FSC (Forest stewardship Council) in the countries in which it operates. It also holds ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Standards.
Jonny Wilks, Managing Director, Lucart Hygiene said: “With the ever-changing economic challenges businesses are facing, we took the decision to look for a new finance partner to support us through these uncertain times. We are pleased to now bank with Santander UK as it understands the needs and values of our business, and, with its support, we are extremely confident about our plans.”
Mal Powar, Relationship Director at Santander UK, said: “We are delighted to have become Lucart Hygiene’s banking partner, supporting its business plans and growth aspirations, and that of the wider Lucart group, with this flexible funding package. The business demonstrates manufacturing innovation with sustainability at the heart of its operations and we look forward to supporting its expansion in the UK.”