Finnish sustainable packaging solution provider Huhtamaki has acquired the assets of China-based food-contact paper product manufacturer Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging.

The €27m ($32.5m) debt-free transaction was announced in April.

In a statement, Huhtamaki said: “This acquisition strengthens our position as the leading foodservice packaging provider in Asia and expands our product portfolio, allowing us to better serve both existing and new customers in China.”

A privately owned company, Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging specialises in paper bags, wraps and folding carton packaging.

The products are produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and are used by international quick-service restaurants and national bakery chains.

The acquisition will also contribute to Huhtamaki’s commitment to making all its products recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030. It also aims to achieve carbon-neutral production.

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Last year, Jiangsu Hihio-Art reported almost €20m ($24.07m) in annual net sales.

With the completion of the acquisition, Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging has come under Huhtamaki’s Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania reporting segment.

According to Huhtamaki, the company is part of the segment as of 11 June. Around 200 Jiangsu Hihio-Art Packaging employees are now employed by Huhtamaki.

Huhtamaki currently employs around 850 people and operates four production facilities in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Xuzhou, China.

Based in Espoo, Finland, the company currently operates 81 sites in 36 countries. Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it reported total net sales of €3.3bn last year.

Last month, Huhtamaki announced that it is developing a fibre packaging manufacturing facility in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which will begin operations later this year.

Located near one of South Africa’s main export ports, the facility will serve the company’s existing and new egg packaging customers in the province. It is expected to generate around 30 jobs once fully operational.