Delta Print and Packaging, the west Belfast based. global busines founded by Terry Cross, has been bought by rival firm Huhtamaki in a deal worth £80 million.
Finnish-based Huhtamaki, which already employs 200 staff at plants in Lurgan and Lisburn, said the acquisition represented a significant expansion into new territory in the fast food sector across Europe.
A specialist manufacturer of printed folding carton packaging for the UK and European foodservice operators, Delta has experienced significant growth under private ownership since it was founded in 1981 and will now become part of Huhtamaki’s Foodservice Europe- Asia-Oceania business segment.
The existing management team, which will remain unchanged, will report to Rosemary Mason, managing director Huhtamaki Foodservice Western Europe and UK.
Mrs Mason said the acquisition of Delta,would “allow Huhtamaki to enter the fast-growing folding carton business in Europe and strengthen our global customer partnerships.”
Mr Cross, awarded the OBE in this year’s New Year Honours for services to the economy and voluntary sector, will remain as a Senior Advisor assisting Huhtamaki build its folding carton packaging business further, said: “I am delighted that Delta has become part of the Huhtamaki organisation which is a leading, global specialist in food and drink packaging.
“Thirty five years on from our first transaction, now is the time for the company to take the next step in what has been, and what will continue to be, a very exciting journey for the company, our employees and our customers.
“It is the innovation, dedication and hard work of our staff here in Belfast, and at our sister site in Poland, that has captured the attention of a global company such as Huhtamaki which is fantastic for a Northern Ireland company.” Along with its focus on innovation, Mrs Mason said the high quality of Delta’s operations and performance appealed to Huhtamaki which strives to become the preferred global food packaging brand.
“We recognise that the 290+ employees of Delta, and their experience, skills and knowledge of the industry, have been integral to the success the company has enjoyed over the last 30 years and we look forward to welcoming them on board and increasing the number of Huhtamaki employees in Northern Ireland.
“Moving forward as Huhtamaki Foodservice Delta Ltd, we will work hard to ensure a smooth transition ensuring business as usual and providing our customers with a high level of service,” continued Mrs Mason.
“With customers such as KFC, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and United Biscuits, Delta has an excellent reputation within the industry and the same contacts will remain in place for existing customers.”