Filtrona to change name as it expands



Filtrona (LSE: FLTR.L - news) , the plastic and fibre group spun out of Bunzl (EUREX: BNZF.EX - news) seven years ago, is to change its name in an attempt to change investor perceptions about its operations.

The FTSE250 company, whose shares have risen 52pc over the last 12 months, is intent on devising a new name to stop investors thinking it is purely focused on the manufacture of filters for the tobacco industry.

Chief executive Colin Day, the former chief financial officer of Reckitt Benckiser, is understood to have signalled he is keen to drop both the name and the company's logo, which is very similar to that of Bunzl, the industrial conglomerate.

The filter business accounts for approximately 30pc of revenues, but has an operating margin in the region of 12pc, against 16-17pc averages in the rest of Filtrona's three other divisions.

Although it is thought Mr Day has yet to commission work on a new name and branding, it is thought possible he may instruct one of the agencies of advertising and marketing giant WPP (LSE: WPP.L - news) , of which he is a non-executive director.

It is understood a board vote on the name change has yet to take place. Sources indicated that the name change may not take place until later in 2013.

Since becoming chief executive in April 2011, Mr Day has attempted to overhaul the company's fortunes, focusing on growth through a series of acquisitions, and integrating the previous stand-alone divisions.

In the filters division, he has moved the head office from Milton Keynes to Singapore, to take advantage of the considerable growth of cigarettes in Asian markets, and to focus on new types of filters for thinner cigarettes and electric cigarettes.

As part of this expansion east, it is understood that early in the new year Filtrona will establish all four divisions the other three being protection and finishing products, porous technologies and coated and security products at a site in Bangalore to take advantage of the continued growth in the Indian economy.

Until now, Filtrona's only presence in India was through part of one of its filter businesses.


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