Kickstart: It's a hot M&A market for … labels?

One trend we’ve noticed at Plastics News is an usual number of ownership changes for label making companies, a niche of the plastics film and packaging industry that usually doesn’t see a lot of attention.Private equity firm just announced a deal to buy two label suppliers — Multi-Color Corp. of Cincinnati and Elk Grove, Ill.-based Fort Dearborn Co. — merging them into a $3 billion business it says will be “the world’s largest label solutions company.”In June, it was investment firm Mason Wells doing the buying, closing an acquisition of and its sister company, I-Graphics LLC. KDV is a label converter for a diverse set of consumer end markets including beverage, food, household cleaning and personal care with a headquarters plant in Waukesha, Wis., and another facility in Loveland, Colo. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., picked up Target Labels & Packaging LLC of North Salt Lake, Utah, in May for an undisclosed price. The company makes flexographic and digitally printed, laminated and converted packaging labels, as well as rollstock and pouches.Also in May, picked up Singapore’s Lux Global Label, providing it $7.5 million in new business in Asia.In April, Virginia-based , part of Main Post Partners, acquired Total Label, with locations in Whitefish, Mont., and Memphis.Granted, there are other parts of the plastics industry that have seen more M&A activity, but the rising interest in label makers stands out.Also of note, if you’re a big fan of M&A reporting, the July 12 issue of PN will include Frank Esposito’s coverage of the big deals and trends of the first half of 2021. The plastics industry, of course, isn’t the only one out there having problems recruiting workers.Our sister paper Crain’s Chicago Business has a story about Midway Airport’s job fair at the end of June seeking people to fill openings at shops, restaurants and other sites within both Midway and O’Hare airports.It expected about 100 people to show up. Instead, it drew five.”It’s horrible,” Robert Kenney, manager of Nuts on Clark, told Crain’s Chicago. The snack food business needed 10 workers for its facilities at both airports. Instead it is operating with a “skeleton staff” while it struggles to hire more. A student at Brunel University London took home the top award with a simple polyproypylene shield that will help farmers treat crops for pests without impacting nearby plants.Pol Blanch said his D-Shield was inspired by his interest in agriculture and the rural issue of how to apply pesticides safely to vital crops.The shield is semitranslucent and foldable. When attached to the nozzle of a backpack sprayer, it helps to block pesticides and other agricultural chemicals from spreading to neighboring rows.Other top awards went to a hand-held system to check for water safety and a polycarbonate gas cannister for outdoor camp stoves. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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