The associates of the Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG), headquartered in Hockenheim, Germany, has announced that they will sell all their shares to the Sonoco Products Company. Sonoco, one of the largest packaging companies worldwide with headquarters in Hartsville, South Carolina, USA, will strengthen its packaging business in Europe and further expand its expertise in stable, highly decorated convenience packaging. The merger offers the WPG, Europe’s leading provider of composite cans, composite drums and plastic containers, additional growth prospects with new customers and new markets.
After thorough assessment and intensive negotiations, the associates of WPG – all of them members of the Weidenhammer family – have decided to sell their shares to Sonoco. The transition of the shares to Sonoco should be completed at the beginning of October 2014, subject to the regulatory examination. WPG plants, sites, subsidiaries and products will then be part of the Sonoco Products Company.
WPG is held by the Weidenhammer family, who founded the company in 1955. Over the past six decades, WPG has become the European market leader in its segment. “We have promoted WPG’s business development with a lot of passion and personal commitment. The decision to sell our shares was not an easy one“, Ralf Weidenhammer, CEO and one of the managing partners at WPG, explains. “However, we are convinced that the merger is the right step at the right time, and that it will open up new and important future perspectives to WPG and its employees.”
As market and technology leader in Europe, WPG brings additional expertise to the Sonoco group – and will in turn profit from Sonoco’s market position in North America, Asia and Latin America and its 115-year experience and leadership in packaging. Sonoco also operates several plants that produce preliminary materials for composite cans. Manufacturing these innovative materials within the same business group will make WPG’s production of composite cans even more efficient.