Japan-based Oji Holdings has officially signed a deal with US investment fund One Equity Partners (OEP) to acquire all shares of Walki Holding Oy, a pan-European advanced materials conversion company.

Oji said the acquisition will allow the company to “build and expand a platform” for its packaging business in Europe.

In addition, the company said the deal would combine Oji’s barrier technologies and Walki’s advanced technical lamination, which “will accelerate the development of environmentally friendly fibre-based solutions.”

A legacy in sustainable packaging

Founded in 1930 and headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Walki has been a trailblazer in speciality packaging materials. 

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By GlobalData

Walki is a material converter with coating technologies that allow brand owners to achieve fully recyclable paper packaging.

Specialising in consumer and industrial packaging for food, along with engineered materials such as insulation and fire-retardant facings, Walki boasts a global presence with 17 production facilities and a workforce exceeding 1,700 employees.

Walki’s business areas

Consumer packaging: Recyclable paper packaging materials with barrier properties for food and FMCG products.

Industrial packaging: Functional paper packaging for industrial products.

Engineered materials: Heat insulators for the construction industry.

Transformative growth and sustainability: OEP’s impact

Under OEP’s ownership since the acquisition’s closure in July 2018, Walki experienced growth, witnessing a revenue surge of over 125%. 

Notably, the company strategically invested in long-term environmental sustainability, focusing on alternative materials and production methods. This move allowed customers the flexibility to choose eco-friendly packaging solutions, aligning with the global push for reduced environmental impact. 

During OEP’s tenure, Walki completed seven acquisitions, including the notable Plasbel Plásticos in 2021, further solidifying its commitment to recycled and compostable packaging.

This strategic approach supported the substantial expansion of the Valkeakoski facility in Finland. 

Walki CEO Leif Frilund expressed gratitude for OEP’s invaluable partnership over the last five years, stating: “OEP’s expertise in specialty manufacturing businesses like ours helped us to execute our sustainability strategy while continuing to grow the business.”