Januar 24, 2023

Industry Insight Paper & Board Packaging

„Consumer and regulatory pressure for sustainable packaging continues to drive growth in the paper & board packaging industry with many innovations to be expected in 2023.“


Wolfgang Regele
Managing Partner


Market Insights

Global Market

Global Paperboard Packaging Market
Total Development in USD bn 2021 – 2025

Global Paper & Board Production
by region (2021)

  • The fibre based packaging market is expected to continue to gain market share and grow with a CAGR of 4.14% as more brands push towards sustainable product lines (e.g. Nestle and Ritter Sport introduced paper-based confectionary and snacks packaging). Collaboration between the packaging and food industry to explore new paper-based packaging solutions will be seen more frequently in the coming year as the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive adds further pressure on consumer goods producers.
  • M&A activity in 2022 continued to push the consolidation in the packaging industry forward, after 2021 already being a record-breaking deal year. Around 25% of all packaging M&A deals in Europe targeted the paper and board sector specifically in 2022.

Sources: Statista, Mordor Intelligence, Mergermarket, EU

Trends & Drivers to look out for in 2023

E-Commerce – Demand is persisting and even accelerating in new areas like online grocery shopping which mainly uses paper and board packaging.

Asia Pacific – Asia Pacific remains on top as the biggest packaging market worldwide while India is expected to overtake China in population this year, packaging is one of its fastest growing sectors.

Sustainability & Costs – Consumers will continue to demand sustainable products during this economic downturn and for the packaging industry to meet sustainability targets and maintain profitability, cost reductions like optimization of packaging size are key to decrease material consumption and emissions from transportation.

Paper-based packaging for fluids – The food industry has been actively running test releases of their fluid-based product lines packaged in paper bottles, made possible by special coatings on the inside with the aim of offering entirely biodegradable solutions. One of the releases to look out for in 2023 is the Kraft Heinz Ketchup paper bottle in cooperation with Pulpex and Stora Enso.

Sources: McKinsey, GlobeNewsWire, GWP, Packaging Strategies

Deep Dive: Smart Packaging

Definition – Smart packaging can enable active tracking of a product at all stages, monitoring and controlling the environment inside and outside the packaging and allow consumers to interact with the product or brand digitally. The latter became an integral part for companies to raise brand awareness and foster customer loyalty.

Purchase & Restock
Reordering by just scanning the product

Being walked through products life cycle by QR code scanning

NFC Tags
Ensuring product authentication and consumer engagement

Coupons & Incentives
Scannable in-store displays incentivizing consumers with coupons

Sources: Bluebite

Valuation Trends and Developments

EV/EBITDA LTM (Last 12 Months)

EV/Sales LTM (Last 12 Months)


  • The peer group consists of publicly listed companies active in the European paper and board packaging industry. For small and mid-size businesses 20-30% markdowns in valuations can be expected.
  • EV/EBITDA and EV/Sales multiples have mainly decreased over the past 12 months due to rises in energy prices and costs of living for consumers, stirring fear of demand slumps. However, many product end markets of the paper and board packaging industry are resilient and non-cyclical as they cover basic needs.

Source: Sazun Equity Research, Paper & Board Packaging (2023)

Key Performance Indicators

Source: Sazun Equity Research, Paper & Board Packaging (2023)

Peer Group

Source: Sazun Equity Research, Paper & Board Packaging (2023)

Selected Deals – Paper & Board Packaging

Sources: Sazun Equity Research, Mergermarket, Bureau van Dijk

Want to know more?


If you would like to learn more about the valuations and deals of your industry, the transaction mentioned above, or generally our way of working, we would certainly be happy to demonstrate our m&a PLUS® principle in a confidential meeting. Just get in touch and we will share our experience on how to grow businesses with long-lasting partnerships.

With passion for M&A,
Your SAZUN Team