Blyth packaging business acquired in new deal

A leading packaging company based in Blyth whose clients include top multinationals has been acquired.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 6th March 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 9:00 am
David Howes, remains as operations director at APS. Picture by Doug Moody.
David Howes, remains as operations director at APS. Picture by Doug Moody.

Assembly and Packing Services (APS), which has been in Blyth since it was formed 35 years ago, has been acquired by Keswick Enterprises – a UK specialist in logistics and supply chain fulfilment services.

APS, formed by managing director Judith Leighton and her sister-in-law Margaret Watson, is one of the UK’s leading contract packing companies with extensive expertise in assembling, collating and packing merchandise and giftware for manufacturers, importers and retailers.

Ms Leighton said the acquisition is the result of six months of work to identify and secure the best owner to take the business forward.

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She said: “I’m delighted to announce the Keswick Enterprises acquisition as they already have a strong track record in contract packing, own a number of complementary businesses, which will add to APS capability, but above all have the right ethos and share APS values.”

Over its three decades, APS has been the company of choice for multinationals like Procter & Gamble, Diversey, L’Oreal and the The Body Shop, as well as local manufacturers and printers.

The company, based at Blyth Riverside Industrial Estate, offers a full service package of design, procure, manipulate, store and distribute to its customers, as well as specialising in gift assembly, pick-and-pack, sub-assembly, labelling, collation, flo-wrap, blister packing and filling.

Ms Leighton, who will stay as a strategic advisor to the business, added: “The APS management team will remain in situ with David Howes continuing as operations director.

“As part of the Keswick Enterprises group, APS will benefit from significant investment for development and growth and enhanced capabilities in sourcing logistics and systems.

“It’s a really exciting time for everyone involved.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that a business is only as good as the people in it; I feel very confident that we are joining a group which will enhance our capabilities.”

The Keswick Enterprises Group Limited was established in 2005 by former Tibbett & Britten Group plc management – including its former chairman and CEO John Harvey.

Director Gavin Withers will join APS as chairman together with his colleague and director, Barry Croft.

Gavin said: “Everyone in Keswick is very conscious of the good will, loyal staff and heritage that we have acquired.

“Co-packing and fulfilment are at the centre of our strategic focus and we bring long-standing international experience.

“APS will add substantially to our capabilities and we hope offer enhanced opportunities for the people at Blyth.”