Nicholl Food Packaging Limited is pleased to announce it has acquired the whole of the issued shared capital of Watson & Watson, the Scottish aluminium foil tray manufacturer. The strategic logic of the acquisition is to enable the Nicholl Group to provide an improved level of competition against existing plastic/CPET trays and further develop the existing range of standard and smooth wall aluminium for the food industry. It continues the Nicholl Group’s corporate strategy of offering its customers cost effective packaging solutions.


The Nicholl Group is the largest container manufacturer and distributor of aluminium foil trays in Europe. The Nicholl corporate strategy of being the lowest unit cost producer has meant that the company is able to compete with very low international labour rates through a programme of continual investment in automation and efficiency in the distribution chain. The acquisition is complementary to that strategy.


The culture of new product development within Nicholl has kept the company at the forefront of foil container manufacturing technology. Nicholl’s innovation in aluminium tray packaging has been recognised internationally and domestically. Nicholl has won the prestigious European wide EAFA packaging trophy in successive years and this year has won a Silver Starpack award, the UK Packaging Industry Premier recognition.


The Watson business established in 1990 has built an enviable reputation for quality products and an excellent level of service. This ethos fits the culture of the Nicholl company. Both companies will benefit from the consolidation of their raw material purchasing and distribution. Best fit manufacturing synergies and further automation will continue to drive down costs in a very competitive multi raw material stream market place.


Mr Richard Watson will be joining the Board of Nicholl Food Packaging Limited where his executive input will ensure a smooth transition within the new merged business. Mr James Watson will take on a senior executive role in Nicholl. The Chairman of the Nicholl Group, Mr Wilson Nicholl, stated: “This acquisition is a natural one for us. We have known of the Watson family for many years and have admired the way in which they have developed their company. We are delighted to have the talents of both Richard and his brother James available to us in the years to come. We are sure that they will make a very positive impact in our merged business.”


Richard Watson said: “This deal offers us the chance of security going forward and we eagerly anticipate the challenge of working in the multi-disciplinary environment of the successful Nicholl Group.”