Matthews International to acquire Schawk in £347m deal

Matthews International has announced it is to acquire brand development competitor Schawk in a deal reportedly worth $577m (£347m).

Schawk is a global brand development company, reporting sales of $443 million for 2013 and has approximately 3,600 employees in over 20 countries.

Matthews has been operating for over 100 years, its business split between manufacturing products for the funeral industry and as a provider to the packaging industry with it’s Brand Solutions products and services division, employing 5,800 staff with $985m (£593m) revenue last year.

The merger is expected to achieve more than $35m annual cost-savings.

The transaction is expected to close by October this year, subject to approval by the shareholders of Schawk, the receipt of regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

M&A expert Nicholas Mockett of Moorgate Capital told Packaging News that due to media fragmentation, more purchasing decisions being made at point of sale, and the rise of online shopping, the importance of packaging in the overall marketing mix is of increasing significance.

“Brand owners are frequently seeking packaging suppliers and service providers who can support them in multiple countries and locations.  Schawk is one of the leading players in the brand solutions industry so the fit with Matthews is clear.”

Joseph C. Bartolacci, president and chief executive of Matthews, said Schawk’s geographic and product positioning is complementary to Matthews.

“This acquisition fits more in Matthew’s brand solutions business. Given Schawk’s reputation in the US and around the world, we see this as the right choice. The alliance we have made here is significant.”

David A. Schawk, chief executive officer of Schawk, said: “Together, we will be a global market leader, with anticipated annual revenues of approximately $850m for the combined applicable Brand Solutions businesses.”