Bosch Group Plans to Unload Packaging Equipment Operation

Bosch is looking for a buyer for its packaging machinery business (PA) – more specifically the food and pharmaceuticals units of the Stuttgart, Germany-headquartered company’s Packaging Technology division.

In a recently issued press release, the company stated: “With the Bosch Group needing to focus on the transformation ahead, it has not identified any sufficiently relevant synergy effects in terms of business or technology that might offer the division prospects for the future within Bosch. Therefore, Packaging Technology is not part of the group’s core business. PA is involved in project business relating to specialized areas of the packaging industry.”

Bosch PA operates in a competitive environment in which the main players are small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), and is therefore at a structural advantage. Management has determined that its packaging technology operations need to be put on a different footing that will allow them to react more flexibly to the specific requirements of the packaging machinery market. The company’s special-purpose machinery manufacturer, Robert Bosch Manufacturing Solutions GmbH, is a separate entity and will remain part of the Bosch Group.

“This decision will allow for a narrowing of focus on issues of importance for its future, such as the transformation of the Bosch Group and its future digitalization strategy, including the internet of things, and to pool its resources accordingly,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, the Bosch board of management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology and Industrial Technology business sectors.

“Both PA and Bosch will benefit from this decision,” he added. “A reorganized packaging technology business will be able to adapt more flexibly to the diverse requirements of this typically SME market, while Bosch will be free to focus its attention entirely on the group’s impending profound transformation. It also is the Bosch Group’s strategy to structure its operations competitively.”

“My colleagues in PA executive management and I are confident of future business success. We’re one of the biggest companies in our industry, and the path we have chosen is clearly the right one. We will stay together as a strong and stable unit. Under new ownership as well, our tried and tested team will continue to provide our customers with excellent manufacturing solutions and services,” said Dr. Stefan König, chairman of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH. “PA has always led a largely independent existence within the Bosch Group, and will in the future be able to respond even better to the requirements of the packaging industry. Our customers will benefit from this.”

From a business perspective, the past two fiscal years were difficult for certain PA units. Under new management, however, the company has begun to realign, with some initial success. Many units are now in a good position to serve the growing market. In the years ahead, the company expects to see increasing demand. With its many technological USPs, the pharmaceuticals unit is developing encouragingly and growing. The food unit has strengthened its core areas, and intends to further expand its market position.

PA currently employs some 6,100 people in global packaging technology operations. Its aim is for all employees and locations in 15 countries to be retained by the eventual buyer.