By Eamon Farrell,
Co-founder and Chairman Irish
Irish Flexible Packaging was co-founded in 1991 by Eamon Farrell to service the Bakery industry. Since its formation, it has been committed to providing its customers across the world with dependable and innovative flexible packaging solutions.
"I grew the company to become the number one aluminium foil and wax paper flexible food packaging company in Ireland and the UK."
Testimonial by Eamon Farrell
I co-founded Irish Flexible Packaging (IFP) in 1991 in Carnew, Wicklow, Ireland and as CEO I grew the company to become the number one aluminium foil and wax paper flexible food packaging company in Ireland and the UK. IFP is the key sustainable packaging supplier to many iconic Irish food products such as Kerrygold Butter and Brennans Bread, to name but two.
In February 2019, I brought in IFP Investment Limited as an Investor to assist with growth, strategy and succession given their team of former CEOs and CFOs. Together, we continued to expand the business, developed new business lines and also acquired another great company, Fispak Limited. Fispak is Europe's leading supplier of wax-based bone guard, which was complimentary to our wax-based food packaging. The combined business grew in terms of revenue, profitability and margin as it enjoyed economies of scale.
Re-evaluating in the pandemic
Covid and the pandemic emerged in 2020 and this brought about new challenges. The main issue we experienced was supply of basic business raw materials such as aluminium and paper, along with the radical rate increases that go hand in hand with limited supply. I was forced to re-evaluate the merits of maintaining a small indigenous independent business in rural Ireland in a globalized world.
Simultaneously, a large reputable multinational called ProAmpac made an enquiry to partner with us. ProAmpac had acquired two other similar sized flexible food packaging businesses in Ireland in 2021, hence I began to assess the pros and cons of such a partnership.
All the questions I had when assessing the best way forward to secure the future of the business were answered positively if Irish Flexible Packaging merged with ProAmpac.
ProAmpac is a leading global flexible packaging company with over 5,700 employees, 50 sites and US $2 billion annually in revenue.
The shareholders and senior management were able to make quick but well-informed decisions and on the 31 October 2021, Irish Flexible Packaging was acquired by ProAmpac. ProAmpac is owned by Pritzker Private Capital.
As a truly global company with the necessary expertise, reputation, financial strength and buying power to compete in a globalized world, ProAmpac was the perfect fit. And since making the decision to partner, the reality has proven that it was the correct decision for Irish Flexible Packaging and its stakeholders.
I believe that the right decision back in early 2019 was to seek out a new partner, who could bring new skill sets to the table, ones that would prove very useful three years later. The long-term future of Irish Flexible Packaging and Fispak is looking very positive, as it sits within a large powerful organisation.
In actual fact, the relationship has been very positive and IFP Investments Limited is assisting ProAmpac with their planned European expansion, through our M&A European team, which includes myself, Barry and Fintan. Our objective is to help find acquisitions and partners that provide packaging for the food industry and synergies with ProAmpac.