Peninsula clinches buy of Italy's ISEM to drive packaging industry consolidation

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MILAN (Reuters) - Investment firm Peninsula Capital said it had agreed to buy Italian premium packaging firm ISEM Bramucci in a deal worth around 90 million euros ($97 million), and targeted further acquisitions in the still fragmented industry.

Reuters had reported in January London-based Peninsula was leading the race to buy ISEM Bramucci, which makes luxury boxes and folding cartons to hold fragrances, cosmetics and champagne bottles, and whose customers include L'Oréal and Shiseido.

At the time, the valuation was pegged at between 80 million and 90 million euros.

The e-commerce boom fuelled by the pandemic has driven rapid growth in the packaging industry, with demand for paper packaging in particular fed also by a de-plastification push.

The paper packaging industry is energy-intensive and has been grappling with the spike in gas prices.

Peninsula said ISEM Bramucci would continue to be led by current CEO Francesco Pintucci, while the chairmanship would be taken by Marco Giovannini, former CEO and chairman of Guala Closures, an Italian maker of safety caps for bottles.

Giovannini's area of expertise could help ISEM Bramucci develop its spirits business, Peninsula said.

Peninsula said it saw room to bring together more Italian packaging firms, and help them make the most of their proximity to make-up manufacturers in a country which accounts for three quarters of the global cosmetics output.

Peninsula owns a significant minority stake in Italian low-cost make-up brand Kiko Milano, which is already among ISEM Bramucci's customers.

The acquisition was carried out by Peninsula's principal fund, with a co-investment by Italian asset manager Azimut.

($1 = 0.9327 euros)

(Reporting by Valentina Za and Francesco Zecchini; Editing by David Holmes)