Japanese plastic and cellulose film manufacturer Futamura Chemicals has entered an agreement with UK-based Innovia Group to acquire its Cellophane business and assets.

Innovia Group CEO Mark Robertshaw said: "The sale of our Cellophane business is an important strategic step for Innovia. Futamura is an excellent long term owner for Cellophane, with its core business focused on cellulose and plastic films.

"In line with our strategy, we will continue to focus on building our polymer films and banknote business where we see significant growth potential.

"In particular, the benefits of our polymer technology for banknotes have proven to reduce counterfeiting levels significantly and to reduce substantially the lifetime costs to central banks, which we expect will continue to drive long term demand for polymer banknotes across the globe."

"The acquisition of Innovia’s Cellophane business will enhance our product range and presence across the globe."

The decision to sell the Cellophane brand is believed to be in accordance with Innovia’s objective to focus on its polymer banknote and polypropylene (BOPP) film businesses.

The deal is expected to close on or before 30 June.

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Futamura Chemical president Yasuo Nagae said: "The acquisition of Innovia’s Cellophane business will enhance our product range and presence across the globe.

"It supports our ambition to serve our key customers through local manufacturing facilities offering the highest standards of delivery by experienced personnel. We look forward to welcoming Innovia’s Cello employees into our family."

Last year, Innovia Films launched a new BOPP film that provides more than a year of protection from mineral oil migration.

The announcement came amid numerous instances of food being contaminated by mineral oil from paper-board packaging.

Testing by the UK Food Standards Agency showed that safe levels were frequently exceeded in food packaging samples.