Germany: Party keg pioneer bought by Envases Group

Envases Europe A/S, a subsidiary company of Envases Group, a global leader in consumer packaging, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Huber Packaging Group, a leading German manufacturer of metal and plastic packaging in the greater European Region.

With around 900 employees, Huber primarily produces tinplate packaging for chemical-technical applications and beverages at six locations in Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary. In the Competence Center Plastics in Switzerland, the company also develops and produces blown plastic packaging.

In the beer sector, Huber is mainly known for its 5l tinplate cans with integrated tap, which are marketed as so-called party kegs. Developed in 1972, more than 1000 different brands and types of beer are today sold in this unique type of packaging.

The acquisition, which is subject to review by the competition authorities, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021. Financing has been fully committed in support of the transaction.

Envases Group, formerly known as Envases Universales, is a family owned business based in Mexico City, Mexico, The company was founded in 1993 as Zapata Envases byIsaías Zapata Guerra and his son Isaías Zapata Oscoz. In its beginnings the company produced plastic containers for the chemical and food industry but soon moved into the production of metal containers for the same use. In the following years the group diversified into the production of first PET and later aluminum containers, which should become the backbone of the business.

The company is today owned and run by Laura Zapata Oscoz. As one the richest women in Mexico, she does not grant interviews, and there are hardly any photographs of her and her family. Her group includes 66 manufacturing facilities , 7 distribution centers, 1 design center and 3 R&D labs around the world. The group is divided into three packaging divisions – PET Packaging, Aluminum Beverage Packaging and Food & Industrial Packaging and produces a wide range of cans and bottles for the personal care, perfume, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food sectors.

In recent years, Envases has increased its presence in the beverage sector.

In March 2017 Envases Group opened its new two billion aluminum beverage can facility in Hunucmá, Yucatán in Mexico, next door to Grupo Modelo’s new 12 million hl brewery which started operations in March 2019 (, 18.3.2019). The company invested about 1,600 million pesos (USD 88 million), and generated 170 jobs.

Soon later, the company announced to open in January 2020 another aluminum beverage can plant in Hidalgo State, Mexico with two lines running a speed of 2,100 cans per minute each, and a capacity of two billion cans per year. “Envases’ aims to be the first buying option in aluminum beverage cans,” the group said in a statement.

Last move in the sector of aluminum beverage was four weeks ago, when Envases announced to build its first U.S. aluminum beverage can production and distribution center in Waco, Texas. “The Waco operation will focus on aluminum beverage containers commonly used for soft drinks, beers, energy drinks, teas and non-carbonated beverages. The investment will create over 120 new, skilled, full-time production jobs and is projected to start operations in late 2021,” the company said.

In 2011, Envases bought Danish canmaker Glud & Marstrand, the world’s third largest supplier of aluminum cans for the fish processing industry, thus making Denmark the base for all of its European operations, named Envases Europe A/S.

Envases Europe employs today 1.100 people in Europe with production facilities located in Denmark, Sweden and Holland with export to customers in more than 30 countries. Adding Huber Group with 900 employees and 6 production sites will enlarge Envases Europe to employ 2.000 people and operate 13 production sites across Europe.

Commenting on the transaction, Envases Europe A/S Chief Executive Officer Brian Nielsen stated, "We are excited about the acquisition of Huber Packaging Group, as it will build upon Envases Europe A/S existing position in the European food segments and substantially increase our presence in Europe within the general line segments.

CEO of Huber Group Martin Lüer:”We are very pleased with the acquisition and becoming a part of a strong family owned company. Under the umbrella of Envases Group, we see opportunities for a successful development of Huber Packaging. It will give us important drive for a successful future and to serve our customers even better."

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