European supply chain firm acquires tissues business to grow its presence in the UK

An Italian-based producer of machine glazed (MG) paper and products that specialises in the supply of toilet tissue, roll and hand towels and hygiene rolls to hospitals, schools, hotels and restaurants has acquired a British manufacturer of disposable tissue products to grow its presence in the UK.

Lucart S.p.A., part of the Lucart Group based in the Italian city of Lucca, has acquired Essential Supply Products Ltd in Worcester for an undisclosed sum. The takeover takes effect from the beginning of this month (March 2021). Lucart is a leading company in Europe in the production of MG paper, tissue products (paper items for daily use such as toilet paper, kitchen paper, napkins, tablecloths and handkerchiefs) and airlaid products.

The relationship between Lucart and ESP goes back over ten years as some of the paper processed at the Malvern site comes from the Lucart mills.

Lucart’s acquisition of Essential Supply Products forms an important part of its development and Internationalisation plan and consolidates its position as a primary player in the European ‘Away from Home’ hygiene products market, which includes tissue products used in kitchen and bathroom facilities that are not in a private home.

Massimo Pasquini, Lucart’s CEO, said the deal is an important step for the future development of the Lucart Group. He said: “Essential Supply Products’ position, market and product range bring important synergies to other parts of the Lucart Group and as the UK is the second largest market for tissue paper products, this strategic acquisition will allow us to grow our presence in Great Britain.

“We have overcome the uncertainties generated by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. Completing this important further step for the future development of the Lucart Group.”

Carl Theakston, Essential Supply Products’ founder, added: “We have done deals over the years to enable us to compete at the highest level. However, the standard of investment required to make my ambitions for this company a reality needed an investor who shared our values and desire to grow the company sustainably and to its full potential.

“Lucart is a family-owned multinational company that has operated for almost 70 years. Its history, vision and commitment to sustainable development make it the ideal investor to ensure Essential Supply Products’ adventure continues now and for longer-term.”

Founded in 1953 by the Pasquini Family in Italy, Lucart operates in the Business to Business, Away from Home and Consumer markets. The company employs 1,600 employees across nine production plants (five in Italy, two in Spain and one in France and Hungary) and has a logistics centre in Italy.

Lucart produces more than 395,000 tonnes of paper per year, from 12 paper machines and turnover for the Group exceeds €500m. Since 2018, Lucart has been a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international organisation that guides the transition towards circular economy which aims to eliminate waste and the continual use of resources. 

Essential Supply Products, founded in 1990, makes toilet tissue, centrefeed, roll and hand towels, industrial floor stand and hygiene rolls for cleaning, hotel, restaurant, facilities management, catering, industrial and healthcare sectors. It employs 85 members of staff on five processing lines at its 77,000 sq metre manufacturing plant and has a turnover of £26m.

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