From Novara to Norway, and then to the whole world. Novamont, the Italian bioplastics giant, has taken an important new step in its international expansion with the acquisition of BioBag, a Norway-based world-leading supplier of certified compostable and biodegradable solutions for waste collection and packaging. The acquisition will effectively create the most integrated group in the bioplastics sector, widening Novamont’s network into Northwestern Europe, North America, and Australia.
A long-standing partnership
Collaboration between Novamont and BioBag is, in fact, nothing new: their partnership began some 25 years ago. It all began with Novamont’s plan to create an integrated value chain for bioplastics and biochemicals that was rooted in the separate collection of biowaste. This is the starting point of what we know today as the circular bioeconomy.
This idea proved to be both winning and revolutionary, leading the Novara-based company to become a leader in the production of bioplastics and the development of biochemicals and bioproducts by integrating chemistry, environment, and agriculture. Novamont, which was recently awarded the “B-Corp” Certification and amended its company statute to become a Benefit Corporation, currently holds some 1800 patents and patent applications and constantly invests its revenue in research.
BioBag International, for its part, occupies a leadership position in the global distribution of certified compostable and biodegradable solution, boasting the widest range of products currently available on the market. It is especially dominant in the production of eco-friendly packaging in Northern Europe. In addition to its headquarters in Askim, Norway, the company has branches in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Australia, Canada, and the US, as well as a production facility in Estonia.
The two companies collaborated more and more closely over the years, building up to Novamont’s announcement of the acquisition on 12th January. This synergy will undoubtedly allow Novamont to benefit from BioBag’s highly-specialised independent distribution network in regions where the Italian company is less present. The move will also help both companies to intensify research activities and joint involvement in innovative projects, particularly to improve the collection and composting of biowaste in North America, the Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe, and Australia.
A beneficial synergy for the production and distribution of bioplastics
Being the result of a shared history, this acquisition promises to favour the continuation of a fruitful relationship built on the common ground that has been established over the years.
“Strong cultural compatibility developed over two decades of partnership has led to a harmonious vision and shared values, as well as the integration of teams around common projects”, Novamont’s website reads.
Furthermore, the two companies’ value chains are highly complementary: while Novamont is mainly focused upstream, BioBag is stronger downstream. The Italian B-Corp has developed the Mater-Bi supply chain, which ranges from agricultural raw materials to bio-monomers and from bioplastics to low-impact formulations. Its market supply practices involve collaborations with both local communities and mass-distribution retailers. Meanwhile, BioBag has pioneered the development and distribution - starting from the Scandinavian countries - of a wide range of compostable solutions and has specialised in a series of support services for these applications. Additionally, it has developed an e-commerce platform to further expand the distribution of its products, specialising in the marketing sector. Finally, BioBag also markets different applications that are complementary to Mater-Bi, thus extending the joint offering.
All in all, these different and complementary sets of expertise will help build a more robust platform, maximising the range and geographical availability of products and improving customer service capabilities. “I look forward to a future where we can work together on communication towards customers and stakeholders”, states Birgitte Enghave, Marketing Director - Europe at BioBag. “Novamont is strong in R&D and we have good communication towards end customers, I am sure that this combination will give us a great advantage and I have strong expectations that our customers will benefit from increased and more in-depth information from us in the future”.
Satisfied leadership at Novamont and BioBag
“This agreement allows Novamont to expand its model of circular bioeconomy”, says Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli. “By joining our best skills and energies and fully integrating our supply chains we can better serve our partners upstream and downstream while further accelerating circular solutions for different market sectors and for communities pursuing our goal of producing more with less.”
BioBag will continue to operate as an independent organisation with the same leadership team. Kjell Ivar Bache, the Norwegian company’s CEO, expressed his contentment regarding the acquisition. “We have been close partners with Novamont for decades and for BioBag this is like coming home. With Novamont, BioBag becomes part of a world-leading bioplastics and biochemicals company. This will enable further international growth together”, said Bache.