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Expansion for Ulster labels and packaging group

May 12, 2006

Expansion for Ulster labels and packaging group
MSO Group, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has taken over Storey Evans, a pharmaceutical labeling and packaging specialist in Bradford, West Yorkshire, for an undisclosed sum. The company was one of the UK’s top three producers in its field and its acquisition is therefore expected to establish MSO as one of the UK and Ireland’s leading pharmaceutical packaging producers. The sale marks the end of a family ownership at Storey Evans that goes back to the late 19th Century. Its labeling division was formed more than 30 years ago and accounts for around 25 percent of turnover.
Production of folding cartons and self-adhesive labels at MSO Cleland factory in Belfast will be boosted. Positive spin-offs are also expected for the Cartonmaster plant in Middlewich, Cheshire, UK. Two years ago it began to switch production from food packaging to the relatively more stable market for short-run pharmaceutical packaging.
MSO has also bought Hannibal Labels, a self-adhesive label producer with 58 employees based near Leicester. Despite, or because of, a long history of serving major supermarket groups and other blue-chip clients, the company slumped into administration. A series of failed management buy outs and takeovers could not turn it around.