PostNord divests label unit to focus on core business

Nordic postal operator PostNord AB has handed over part-control of its business packaging and labels unit, Strålfors Identification Solutions (SIS). PostNord, which announced a $156m USD cost-cutting strategy on Tuesday to counter accelerating mail volume declines, said today that the move would allow it to focus more on core activities.

SIS is part of PostNord’s loss-making Strålfors subsidiary, which runs business services like printing, enveloping, electronic transfer services and third party logistics.

The packaging and labeling business is now in shared ownership between Strålfors and Swedish family-owned packaging business EsonPac.

PostNord said its Strålfors unit would remain part-owned of the combined enveloping business now called EsonPac Group AB “for a limited period”.

PostNord said the move set up “one of the leading packaging groups in the Nordic region”, with a SEK 1bn ($156m USD) turnover and 550 staff.

Strålfors Identification Solutions currently has about 340 staff with operations in Seden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, generating SEK 572m ($89.5m USD) sales in 2010.

Strålfors as a whole made a SEK 41m ($6.4m USD) operating loss in the first half this year, on SEK 803m ($125m USD) sales.

Per Samuelson, head of business area Information Logistics and CEO of Strålfors, described the deal with EsonPac as an “industrial solution” that would mean SIS is operated by a business in which its activities were a core business.

“For PostNord, the transaction means a further step towards streamlining operations within Information Logistics to our core business, which is business communication,” said Samuelson.

Eson Pac said acquisition of SIS and its new ownership structure meant establishing itself at a new level of business, ready to take its business to onto the European packaging market.

“Eson Pac Group will have the Scandinavian market as a base, while we see the greatest growth potential outside of Scandinavia,” said the Group’s CEO Michael Bolin.

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