Warburg Pincus buys majority stake in Parksons Packaging

Kejriwal family to drive Parksons Packaging with minority holding

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Warburg Pincus acquired a majority stake in Parksons Packaging
At a ceremony to mark the commissioning of the K&B Rapida 76, Dietmar Heyduck, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed (2nd from right), honored Ramesh Kejriwal, Parksons Packaging (center). Also present: Aditya Surana from Koenig & Bauer sales partner Indo-Polygraph Machinery (left), Siddharth Kejriwal (2nd from left) and Subhasis Roy (right), both of Parksons Packaging Photo K&B

According to an official press note on 26 April 2021 from Warburg Pincus, Green Fin Investments BV, an affiliate of leading global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, has acquired a majority stake in Parksons Packaging Limited. The note does not disclose the amount of the deal but earlier reports in the financial press about three weeks had speculated that it was of the order of Rs.2200 or 2300 crore.

Apparently, as a part of the transaction, the existing private equity investors, Kedaara Capital AIF 1, Olza Holdings Limited, and IIFL, have fully exited their investment in Parksons and the Kejriwal family has also encashed a part of its stake.

Ramesh Kejriwal, Siddharth Kejriwal, and Chaitanya Kejriwal will continue to retain their current positions of chairman, managing director, and joint managing director, respectively, and will drive the business going forward.

Parksons, founded in 1996, is one of India’s largest folding carton manufacturers with a highly diversified product portfolio and 300+ customers across the consumer, food, pharmaceutical, and other product segments. Through its 6 state of the art manufacturing facilities across India, Parksons has the capacity to convert more than 1,25,000 metric tons of paper board annually.

Kejriwal enthusiastic on partnering with Parksons

Siddharth Kejriwal, managing director, Parksons, said, “We have had a strong collaborative relationship with Kedaara in our growth journey over the past 6 years and now we are excited to partner with Warburg Pincus in our next phase of growth. Warburg Pincus’ investment in Parksons is a testament to the strong, high quality business we have built over the past two decades. Their unique understanding of the consumer market will help us further strengthen our position as India’s leading paper packaging solutions provider.”

Warburg Pincus to partner with the Founder family

Vishal Mahadevia, managing director and head of India, Warburg Pincus, said, “We believe that packaging is a great way to play the fast-growing consumption story in India. The paper packaging market is expected to demonstrate strong growth over the next five years, driven by underlying expansion in consumer end markets, further bolstered by secular tailwinds of sustainability and premiumization. Warburg Pincus has a deep history in backing talented management teams and looks forward to partnering with the Founder family and the management team in growing the business.”

Manish Kejriwal and Parin Mehta, from Kedaara Capital AIF 1 said, “When Kedaara invested in Parksons, it saw a high quality, market-leading and scaled consumer derivative play led by a strong founder family. Kedaara enjoyed its strong collaborative relationship with the company and during the investment term, the business continuously outgrew the Indian packaging sector and generated significant value for all stakeholders. Parksons is today positioned to further strengthen its dominance as India’s largest folding carton packaging solutions provider.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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