Sydney-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Propac Industrial has been snapped up by well-known packaging industry figure Mark Emmett, who is also the owner and MD of Adelaide-based OEM HMPS.
Propac Industrial is a vertical form fill seal (VFFS) equipment manufacturer founded in 1992 by partners Craig Pullen and Kim McFadden. Over the years, while the company has maintained a relatively low profile, the pair has built the business into a formidable player in the VFFS machinery sector, with more than 600 installations in Australia, New Zealand, the US, and other global markets.
The company designs and builds VFFS machinery at its facility in Seven Hills in western Sydney, the site where all its manufacturing processes – including fabrication, component manufacture, assembly, electrical, and software design – are carried out.
Emmett, who purchased Propac Industrial for an undisclosed sum, told PKN he plans to keep the Sydney manufacturing facility operating as usual, and will retain all Propac Industrial employees. Emmett will take up the role of managing director, while Pullen – the innovator behind the original VFFS machine that established the company – will remain in the business as a consulting engineer. Assisting Emmett with the integration process is HMPS engineer James Allen.
The two businesses, Emmett stressed, will operate independently but synergistically.
Prior to the acquisition, Emmett said he had come to know the Propac Industrial business through trade shows and mutual installation projects.
“The HMPS case packer systems are often installed in-line directly after the Propac VFFS machines – put simply, Propac fills the bag and HMPS puts the bag in the box – and so I got a good feel for how the company operates, and also about the quality of their equipment,” he said.
According to Emmett, Propac’s VFFS line of machinery is solid, robust, flexible and able to withstand harsh manufacturing environments.
“Propac machines can pack anything from a 15g bag of herbs to a 60kg bag of river pebbles, and everything in between, including liquids,” Emmett said.
Asked what attracted him to the Propac business, Emmett said that when he was looking at ways to grow HMPS, he struck on the idea of purchasing Propac with the plan to grow both businesses side by side. The timing was right for the owners, and following a few months’ due diligence, the deal was finalised in January.
“I saw opportunities for growth for both businesses. HMPS and Propac will benefit from new customers and new markets that each business brings to the table, and customers will benefit from access to new best-in-class technology from proven providers,” Emmett said. “And, with a presence in three major cities, the two businesses will be able share service teams and provide a more responsive service to customers across Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Emmett has his sights set on growth through exports too. Propac’s exports to the US to account for more than 30 per cent of its turnover, and more than 10 per cent of installations, according to Emmett. HMPS, meantime, has expanded its footprint into South East Asia, with this market accounting for 25 per cent of the company’s turnover.
The wheels are already in motion for Propac’s debut in SE Asia, with plans underway for Propac to exhibit its VFFS technology at ProPak Asia, the trade show held annually in Bangkok and at which HMPS has exhibited with success for a number of years.
To strengthen ties with Propac’s existing US customers, Emmett is shortly to undertake a trip to the US with sales manager Craig Lindsell, who works out of Propac’s Melbourne office.
Emmett says he is looking forward to what the next twelve months will bring for both companies; he is positive about the investment he has made, and the benefits he believes it will bring to both businesses.
HMPS and Propac Industrial are both members of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association and will be exhibiting at AUSPACK 2021 in Sydney.