Bosch to sell food and pharma packaging business

Machinery equipment manufacturer plans to sell packaging technology division, which generated €1.3 billion in sales last year

German machine manufacturer Bosch has said it will sell its packaging machinery business (PA), more specifically the pharmaceuticals and food units of the Packaging Technology division.

In a statement, the company argued that it has not identified any sufficiently relevant synergy effects in terms of business or technology that might offer the division prospects for the future within Bosch. “Therefore, packaging technology is not part of the group’s core business," read the statement.

PA is involved in project business relating to specialised areas of the packaging industry. The company also operates in a competitive environment in which the players are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and who are therefore at a structural advantage.

The company’s special-purpose machinery manufacturer Robert Bosch Manufacturing Solutions GmbH is a separate entity, and will remain part of the Bosch Group.

“This decision will allow Bosch to narrow its focus on issues of importance for its future, such as the transformation of the Bosch Group and its future digitalisation strategy, including the internet of things, and to pool its resources accordingly,” said Dr Stefan Hartung, the Bosch board of management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology and Industrial Technology business sectors.

Hartung said Both PA and Bosch will benefit from this decision. “A reorganized packaging technology business will be able to adapt more flexibly to the diverse requirements of this typically SME market, while Bosch will be free to focus its attention entirely on the group’s impending profound transformation.”

Good products and rising demand

Bosch packaging machinery enjoys an excellent reputation in the various industries in which it is employed. Its innovations have recently garnered awards. Speaking at ACHEMA 2018, Hartung reported that the packaging technology division achieved €1.3 billion (US$1.5 billion) in sales last year.

PA currently employs some 6,100 associates in its global packaging technology operations. Its aim is for all its associates and locations to be retained by the eventual buyer. Associates and employee representatives were informed of the decision today. They will be kept continuously up to date about the course of the divestment process.

“My colleagues in PA executive management and I are confident of future business success. We’re one of the biggest companies in our industry, and the path we have chosen is clearly the right one. We will stay together as a strong and stable unit. Under new ownership as well, our tried and tested team will continue to provide our customers with excellent manufacturing solutions and services,” said Dr Stefan König, chairman of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH.

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