Midland/Aldridge foil container manufacturers Nicholl Food Packaging has taken over its biggest competitor… making it the largest producer of aluminium foil containers in Europe.


Nicholl Food Packaging has grown from humble beginnings, when 12 years ago its chairman, Wilson Nicholl, started the company on his kitchen table, to a £65 million turnover business.


The company, whose headquarters are at Aldridge on the Empire Industrial Park, has just purchased outright Ekco Group Ltd, based at Chesham, Bucks.


The multi-million pound acquisition also includes manufacturing sites in Belgium and France formerly owned by Ekco subsidiary Ecopla.


The newly-enlarged company has a workforce of more than 500.


The acquisition of Ekco was funded by Barclays Bank Plc which is enthusiastic at the prospects for the new venture, and feels it represents an important strategic move for Nicholl Food Packaging.


NFP manufactures aluminium containers for the baking industry, the catering, fast food /ethnic take-away trade and institutional caterers.


Announcing the deal, Wilson Nicholl said: “This acquisition represents a unique opportunity for us to grow our company.


“The industrial logic of our enlarged business means that we will continue to meet increasing levels of demand from the market place.”


The new business will have six specialist production facilities comprising Aldridge, Chesham and Portsmouth, Hants, in the UK, Saint Vincent de Mercuze in France and Seilles in Belgium.


Ekco’s ovenable board and foil board lid manufacturing capability fits ideally with NFP’s strategy of diversification into complementary materials and associated food tray markets.


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Editor’s note: Nicholl Food Packaging is a member of Alupro (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation) and supports successful collection and recycling initiatives. It has developed strategic relationships with other manufacturers of foil containers in Australasia, Europe and the United States.