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WMF and Solo acquisitions

11 April 2012

German group WMF has agreed terms to buy the Italian machine-maker CMA; and the US take-away cup maker Dart announced that it would buy the Solo Cup organisation, which has a big presence in the UK.

WMF agreed the key points of the deal for the acquisition of CMA, which produces the two well-known machine brands Astoria and Wega. The purchase price is said to be in the region of €35m.

In the UK, WMF is about to launch Active Milk, a system that allows both hot and cold milk-based drinks to be delivered from the same bean-to-cup machine. This involves a different kind of milk preparation, using a pump and steam injection. Chilled flavoured milk drinks can be prepared from the same machine.

Meanwhile, one of the world's biggest paper cup makers, Solo, is being sold to the Dart Container Corporation for a purchase price of about $315m along with $700m in debt.

The two cup makers are known for different specialities. Dart does not have as high a profile in the UK, because its speciality is foam cups, which are traditionally more common in the USA. However, Dart actively promotes its cups against paper ones, arguing that polystyrene cups are more environmentally friendly as they use less energy to produce and they can be recycled into other goods. Dart recently opened what it says is the first depot in the UK to accept polystyrene foam food service containers for recycling.

Solo Cup is currently owned by a private-equity firm, and it was reported late last year that the owners were looking to sell. It has international sales of about $1.6b and is an active advocate of the concept of imaginative message printing on take-away cups.

By Lisa Jenkins

E-mail your comments to Lisa Jenkins here.

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