Japan Pulp & Paper, one of Japan’s largest paper groups, has bought Premier Paper through the acquisition of all the sharers of holding company RADMS Paper.
The Birmingham headquartered paper merchant becomes part of a $5 billion group with interests across the world in sectors allied to producing intruding in paper. It has 3,900 staff compared to the 480 working for Premier.
“We had been looking for someone to work with,” says marketing director Dave Jones. “Then we were approached six months ago.”
It was not entirely out of the blue. There had been contact between the two companies over the years and Premier has links with JPP’s Australian merchant Ball & Doggett where there are shared suppliers in common and where each has benchmarked itself against the other.
“There is very little if any conflict with any of our suppliers,” he says. “And we share suppliers with other JPP companies. This is such a good fit. The logic is there to start working closely with their management teams.
“The company is very international in outlook and there is a shared culture of openness and doing business in an honourable way.”
As well as merchanting operations in Australia and sales offices throughput South East Asia, JPP in 2015 acquired Gould Paper, one of the largest US merchants. It has Gould Paper Sales and Gould Publication Papers in the UK and other countries in Europe selling to greetings cards and magazine publishers.
It is expected that the businesses will remain separate. Dave Allen, managing director of Premier Paper, says: “ For some time the board of directors has been searching for a partner that can help the company build on our current success and achieve our full development potential.
“Our strategy of diversifying into parallel market sectors, such as display and packaging, while maintaining our position in the core coated and uncoated sector, will continue. We believe that being part of JPP will help us achieve our business growth objectives and continue to provide a wide choice of products and a first class level of service to customers across the UK. This in turn will ensure that Premier Paper continues to prosper, providing a secure future for the company and all employees.”
The support that JPP can provide will accelerate development plans that Premier has for growth. As well as diversifying into display materials, it is planning expansion in the London area with larger warehouse facilities and a larger fleet of delivery vehicles to provide a better service in the region.
This is carefully planned and as with other aspects of Premier’s strategy carefully costed and controlled. Like the management team, that ethos will not change.
By Gareth Ward
Japan Paper & Pulp has made its first European acquisition with the purchase of Premier Paper. It already had a presence however through the Gould Paper Sales business as subsidiaries of the major US paper merchant it owns.