Skip to main content



Corporates and Business Services


Employment and Immigration


Fraud and Investigations








Planning, Infrastructure and Regeneration


Public Law


Real Estate


Restructuring and Insolvency

Home / News and Insights / News / BDB Pitmans has advised leading integrated manufacturer of paper-based packaging products Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd on strategic acquisition

Alex Barnes

Caroline Yarrow

Daniel King
Senior Associate

Zoe MacQueen

Gabriella Jack
Trainee Solicitor

Top UK law firm, BDB Pitmans, has advised leading integrated manufacturer of paper-based packaging products Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd (Smurfit) on its strategic acquisition of Spirit Packaging Limited, the parent company of Atlas Packaging Limited, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to boost Smurfit’s offering of innovative and sustainable packaging solutions.

Independent corrugated packaging provider Atlas Packaging, based in Barnstaple, North Devon, was established in 1983. The company offers cost–effective, creative and environmentally sound packaging solutions and has a strong presence in the e-commerce sector, producing shelf ready packaging and gift boxing.

Founded in 1934, Smurfit is a FTSE 100 listed company and one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging in the world, with an impressive global footprint encompassing operations in over 30 countries. With more than 350 production sites in 36 countries worldwide, Smurfit’s vertically integrated business model also helps to make it more resilient than competitors.

By handling multiple stages of the manufacturing process ‘in-house’, including recycling, growing trees, using its own paper mills to source raw materials and making and converting paper into cardboard boxes, Smurfit boasts a robust business model, all the more impressive when many competitors are struggling with supply chains impacted by the war in Ukraine. This self-contained model also helps to insulate the company against the inflated costs of raw material as well as ensuring the security of its supply.

BDB Pitmans team was led by corporate partner Hollie Gallagher, assisted by senior associate Daniel King with additional support provided by trainee solicitor Gabriella Jack. The corporate team were supported by other specialists throughout the transaction including Caroline Yarrow and Zoe Macqueen (Employment) and Alex Barnes (Tax).

Simultaneously with the acquisition, Smurfit acquired the freehold of Atlas’ main factory site in Barnstaple, with Atlas remaining in occupation of three further units. The property aspects were led by Real Estate partner Ellen James, assisted by Senior Associate Philip Rowe.

Partner Hollie Gallagher commented:

‘As consumers give more thought to sustainability, the move away from plastic makes a business dealing in recycled containerboard and recovered fibre all the more appealing. This acquisition, combined with an increase in demand for cardboard boxes as part of the surge in online shopping over the last two years, is only set to strengthen Smurfit’s position as a key player in the sustainability market and we wish them all the best in the future.’

Eddie Fellows, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Corrugated UK & Ireland, commented:

‘I am delighted with this acquisition and to welcome another strong professional management team into the Smurfit Kappa organisation. The business has an established customer based across several industries and an excellent reputation. This acquisition will further strengthen our ability to service the UK market and our customers with innovative and sustainable packaging solutions.’

Related Articles