Anzpac going to overseas investor

NSW-based packaging printer Anzpac is being sold to an unnamed Hong Kong investor, which will take control of the company from the current owner New Toyo Group – an Asia Pacific cigarette, food, beverage and cosmetics packaging outfit.

Australian Printer has confirmed that the business will continue in Sydney under a new name and ABN, and that the buyer is an investor from Hong Kong.

The deal is awaiting ink on paper, with the company giving limited information on the sale.

Rumours were abounding that the Anzpac production site was to be rented out or sold, and had not been operating as usual. The company has put these to rest.

Steve Arduin, head of operations, Anzpac says, “We plan to continue with folding cartons, in the food and beverage sector. The business is still currently operating, and is in the process of being sold to the overseas investor, from Hong Kong.”

Anzpac was founded in 1900 as a family owned business Deaton & Spencer. It was bought by its major customer cigarette manufacturer Rothmans in1986, which merged with British American Tobacco in 1999. In 2004 it installed the world’s longest KBA 142 press which came with multiple print and coat units.

By 2005 it was one of the top three Australian packaging printers and produced the packaging used for cigarettes across the country, including latterly plain packaging when it was introduced to Australia.

Anzpac was sold in 2008 to the New Toyo Group for $60m. New Toyo is currently producing the plain packaging used in Australia’s cigarette packets, although it is no longer done in the country. Arduin says, “It has been transferred within the New Toyo group, to AVT in Vietnam and Tien Wah Press in Malaysia.

Plain-packaging laws for tobacco were introduced by the Australian Government in December 2012, and almost immediately faced a lawsuit from Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco as they launched a constitutional challenge in Australia's highest court.

When that bid failed, Philip Morris went to the international Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to claim the legislation breached Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong; the company sought billions in compensation, or an end to plain packaging.

With the PCA ruling against Philip Morris, the British tobacco giant has been ordered to pay the Australian Government’s legal costs, reported to be as high as $50m, though the exact figure has been redacted from the ruling.

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