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Denmark’s largest automation company becomes even bigger and even stronger in automation products. With the acquisition of Denmark's largest special factory of stretch wrappers in Mariager, BILA can now offer industrial customers at home and abroad a complete automated solution for packing, palletising and final wrapping and labelling of the pallet. REO-PACK’s stretch wrappers and labelling solutions thus complete the BILA Group product portfolio. The acquisition is part of the international expansion in which BILA is involved in Europe and the United States.

Time is of the essence when industry’s finished goods need to be packed, palletised, wrapped and transported to the warehouse. Therefore, BILA Group is now adding the two technologies that the automation company lacked to offer a complete end-of-line product range: Stretch wrappers and labelling of the finished pallets.

BILA and REO-PACK customers can choose logistics products just like LEGO bricks to be put together in a reliable automation solution as needed. They will have one supplier who takes responsibility for everything: robots, AGV/driverless forklift trucks, PALOMATs, wrappers and more.

BILA’s acquisition of REO-PACK comes as a result of a generational change in which current owner and founder Thorvald Christensen is selling all of his shares to BILA. At the same time, he will ensure that knowledge, experience and networks are thoroughly transferred, as he is continuing as manager of the company’s 50 employees for the next three years.

“I am entrusting my life’s work to BILA Group because I know that it is an owner that will further develop and secure my business for the benefit of my excellent employees, customers and suppliers. There were other potential buyers, but BILA is definitely the best match. It gives me peace of mind to entrust REO-PACK to BILA,” says Thorvald Christensen, CEO of REO-PACK.

Simple construction and long service life

REO-PACK was founded in 1988 in Mariager and has since built up an impressive global clientele of industrial heavyweights around the world. The client list includes Nestlé, DHL, Rockwool, Carlsberg, Quaker Oats, Velux, Coca Cola, Arla Foods, Salling Group, Haribo, Procter & Gamble, CoRo Food, Pepsico, Glatfelter and Saint Gobain. The secret to the global success is high quality and low maintenance costs.

“The very first wrappers that we built 30 years ago are still in operation. Machine number 1 was delivered to Tvilum Scanbirk, and when they wanted to use some of our newer machines with a lower foil consumption, I brought the machine back to our own factory. It is now at work wrapping our own products. Over time, Haribo and others have each wrapped several million pallets with our wrappers in their fully automatic systems. Ultimately, it is reliability that we sell our customers, not just machines,” says Thorvald Christensen.

BILA’s acquisition of REO-PACK opens up obvious synergies and increased exports to markets such as the UK, Germany and the Benelux countries, where BILA and REO-PACK each have local branches. As European market shares grow, the expansion into the US market will become more focused.

Currently, 40% of BILA’s sales are exports. That share will not become smaller and the acquisition is part of our growth strategy to achieve billions in turnover,” says Ole Madsen, CEO of BILA Logistics.

BILA customers already choose REO-PACK

“When we are out automating in the manufacturing industry, we often encounter REO-PACK’s high quality wrappers at the customers’ facilities. Internationally, the food industry focuses on one-stop shopping of modular products, especially for end-of-line. The REO-PACK product portfolio complements BILA perfectly. “We therefore feel that we have made a really good purchase with the acquisition of REO-PACK, and it is a purchase that will benefit the customers of both companies,” says Ole Madsen.

REO-PACK will continue business under its previous name and at the same location. Through the new ownership, employees will have an even stronger workplace with the muscle to generate further development, growth and international sales.

In recent years, BILA has significantly upgraded logistics automation, which in many markets is under-automated and thus has an obvious export potential. In 2017, BILA took over all Dan Palletiser activities in Vemmelev, West Zealand, which for 44 years has provided palletising solutions for the food industry in particular, including Kellogg’s, C&D Foods and Friesland Campina.

Published september 2020