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Hadleigh-based H Erben acquired by US group Berlin Packaging

PUBLISHED: 13:08 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 07 March 2018

Andrew Berlin of Berlin Packaging addressing employees at H Erben Ltd in Hadleigh following the group's acquisition of the company.

Andrew Berlin of Berlin Packaging addressing employees at H Erben Ltd in Hadleigh following the group's acquisition of the company.

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Long-established Suffolk packaging products company H Erben Ltd has been sold for an undisclosed sum to the United States-based group Berlin Packaging.

Sasha Erben and his father, Harry, who founded H Erben, in 1951. Sasha Erben and his father, Harry, who founded H Erben, in 1951.

Erben, which has been based in Hadleigh since relocating from London in 1968, is a major supplier of glass and ceramic containers and packaging and labelling equipment to the food and beverage sector.

Sasha Erben, son of founder Harry Erben, who joined the business in 1996 and became managing director in 2000, has overseen a near-quadrupling of turnover in the past decade, to a total of more than £30m in the year to December 31, 2017.

All 50 employees and the current leadership team, including Sasha Erben, will remain with the business, which will now be known as Bruni Erben, linking it with Bruni Glass, another UK business acquired by Berlin in 2016.

Mr Erben said: “Joining with Berlin and Bruni will be a benefit to our company and all our partners. We are already putting into place plans to grow our business, which will bring more jobs to East Anglia and the UK overall. This is a growth story that I am so happy to be part of.”

Members of the team at H Erben Ltd in Hadleigh, now to be known as Bruni Erben. Members of the team at H Erben Ltd in Hadleigh, now to be known as Bruni Erben.

Berlin Packaging, which is based in Chicago, is a global supplier of packaging products and services to customers across a range of sectors, with turnover of 2.6bn US dollars (about £1.9bn).

Andrew Berlin, chairman and chief executive, said: “Sasha Erben leads an extraordinary company that not only shares our focus on quality, service and results for customers but also has a culture that delights in serving and growing powerfully in the marketplace. Adding Erben to the Berlin enterprise shows our commitment to acquire the best businesses in the packaging industry along with our proven approach to organic growth.”

Erben was advised during the deal by the regional teams of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP and law firm Birketts LLP.

Tim Hansell, head of advisory at Grant Thornton in Norwich, who led on the deal, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sasha and the Erben team to help shape this transaction with Berlin Packaging, in what proved to be a complex deal structuring process.”

Tim Hansell, head of advisory at Grant Thornton in Norwich. 
Photo: Grant Thornton Tim Hansell, head of advisory at Grant Thornton in Norwich. Photo: Grant Thornton

Mark Henry led the team at Birketts.

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