Members of CEPI Cartonboard and Pro Carton have announced that they will merge into one strong association under the name Pro Carton, following a 12-month period of consultation. The final merger is expected to take place mid-2024 after all legal procedures are successfully met.
The announcement was made at the associations’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 16 June 2023. The merger will create a more effective and efficient group that has a stronger voice throughout the carton industry. This will include several new working streams, each devoted to driving synergies, improving the associations’ representation and support it offers member organisations.
In addition to announcing the merger, Pro Carton announced its new board members, who will take their positions immediately:
- Andreas Birmoser, Stora Enso
- Andreas Bo, Holmen Iggesund
- Nick Dowling, Westrock
- Nick Fox, Metsa Board
- Thomas Kratochwill, MM Board & Paper
- Kemal Ozkirim, Kartonsan
- Jean- Francois Roche, Graphic Packaging International
The two associations – before the final merger – will be strategically guided by the same team of board members.
Michele Bianchi – CEO of RDM Group, the leading producer in the recycled cartonboard business and the largest producer in Italy, France, The Netherlands and in the Iberian Peninsula – will continue in the position of President for Pro Carton. Neil Fox of Metsä Board will become Vice-President. Horst Bittermann will continue to lead the transformation and merger of the two associations in the role of General Director. Winfried Mühling keeps responsibility as Marketing and Communications Director.
Michele Bianchi, President of Pro Carton, commented: “This merger will create a stronger association that will ensure Pro Carton are prepared for the future of the European cartonboard and folding carton industry. With a stronger voice, cooperation across industry borders, and closer collaboration with ECMA, our union will deliver the support needed for the sustainable growth of our industry.”