Kolbus Accelerates Move into Packaging

Kolbus Group have acquired all shares in Autobox Machinery Ltd, for an undisclosed price. Autobox Group, with its main operating company British Converting Solutions Ltd (BCS) based in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, UK, is a leading manufacturer of corrugated box making, printing and gluing machines. With more than 80% of production exported, the company has enjoyed worldwide success. This was recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016.

For Kolbus, this acquisition completes the group’s re-orientation from industrial bookbinding systems, where it was world market leader, towards manufacturing equipment for specialist, paper-based packaging. Former majority owning shareholder Barry Tabor will continue to lead the company and its more than 50 members of staff as Managing Director. Together with its satellite assembly plant in Tamworth, Staffordshire, BCS-Autobox will become part of Kolbus’ corrugated technology division, which also operates a factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.

Kai Büntemeyer, co-owner and Managing Director of Kolbus: “BCS-Autobox is a perfect match for Kolbus. While there is absolutely no overlap between the companies’ product ranges, BCS-Autobox fits perfectly between the highly specialised grey-board packaging technology from Kolbus-Germany and the rotary die-cutters made by our American Hycorr division. We expect BCS-Autobox to become our fastest-growing segment and our foot-print in the U.K. is set to continue to expand after this acquisition.”

Barry Tabor, Managing Director of British Converting Solutions Ltd said, “The acquisition of the business by the Kolbus Group provides an exciting opportunity for BCS-Autobox to realise it full potential on a truly worldwide basis. Being part of the Kolbus Group gives us access to their International Sales and Service network. In addition, their impressive components manufacturing capabilities in Rahden, Germany will enable the BCS-Autobox factories in the UK to significantly increase production capacity. We shall also have additional Design Engineering resources to enable us to expand our R&D programme. I shall remain as Managing Director and I am very much looking forward to working with Kolbus to further grow the BCS-Autobox business.”