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Marking the biggest acquisition in its history, Labelmakers Group is buying Melbourne-based Rapid Labels, with the deal set to go through next month.

Labelmakers buys Rapid: Sean Kenny (l) and Dave Power
Labelmakers buys Rapid: Sean Kenny (l) and Dave Power

Labelmakers says the move cements its market leading position in label supply across Australia and New Zealand. Adam Bamford, managing director at Labelmakers said, “The acquisition enables Labelmakers to move heavily into nutraceuticals, with a full suite of solutions spanning labels and folding cartons.”

It gives Labelmakers access to a Gallus Labelfire hybrid label print system, currently running at Rapid, which also has HP Indigo digital label printing, and conventional flexo label printing presses.

Founded in 1982, Rapid has remained to this day a 100 per cent privately-owned and managed business by Sean Kennon and Dave Power. Kennon will now retire, with Power remaining as general manager

An established supplier and printer of self-adhesive label products, Rapid Labels has built its customer base in the FMCG, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical segments, making it an attractive bolt-on for Labelmakers.

The acquisition will expand Labelmakers’ print technologies with digital UV inkjet, as well as a product offering now including database integrated variable data management, and multiple counterfeit technologies.

Digital labels: Rapid has the only Gallus Labelfire in ANZ
Digital labels: Rapid has the only Gallus Labelfire in ANZ

Rapid Labels has been at the forefront of specialised label printing since its inception, managing a suite of best-in-class digital printing equipment, including the first Gallus Labelfire in Australia and one of the first installed globally.

“The Rapid philosophy and its major point of differentiation has been to produce the highest quality labels in-market at industry leading lead times, allowing it to be so successful in its segments,” Bamford said.

“Rapid is a highly complementary acquisition to our Victorian operations and we are excited to bring their capabilities into the Labelmakers’ network.

“Some of the technologies it has adopted are world leading, few have mastered the art like Rapid."

In terms of the organisational structure, David Power will remain with Labelmakers in his role as general manager of Rapid Labels and the key point of contact for all things Rapid, continuing to manage its tier-one service model.

“Staff members will all continue as normal having contributed so much over the journey and making Rapid the business it is today, with only Sean Kennon retiring at the end of the month,” Bamford said.

“For Rapid’s customers this means business as usual and we look forward to presenting the suite of new opportunities and products available through the Labelmakers network,” Bamford assured. “Sean and Dave have built an impressive business and we are pleased to welcome it into the Labelmakers Group.”

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