KENYA – Kenya’s leading flexible packaging producer Platinum Packaging’s factory has been hit with a massive fire outbreak, halting the firm’s ability to continue serving its customers in the near term.

According to a police report, the fire gutted the premises of the factory as it spread fast, fuelled by chemicals inside. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

The fire brigade fought the inferno in vain, with several water boozers moving in and out of the scene. 

The huge fire brought to a halt the operations at the firm, burning the factory to the ground and further threatening several businesses located nearby, such as Blowplast Ltd and Carton Manufacturers, which are also leading suppliers of packaging materials in Kenya and the region.

Firemen took almost four hours to contain the fire which burnt down the warehouse of the company, but not the nearby factories. 

The packaging manufacturer controls a seven percent share in Kenya’s crowded market for flexible packaging and labelling products, according to reports.

This places it among the joint market leaders in the industry dominated by family-owned enterprises.

Platinum Packaging supplies flexible packaging solutions in reels, pouches, digital labels, and sleeves to food, beverage, cosmetics and other sectors in Eastern Africa.

“Yesterday was the worst day that we could ever imagine – to see our business burn to the ground was gut wrenching,”  the company wrote on its LinkedIn page about the incident. 

“We thank God that no one got injured and we pray that we rise from the ashes stronger than we have ever been. The support of friends, family, clients and suppliers has been overwhelming.”

Thanking those who contributed to put out the fire, the company said that it is in its darkest moments that and that many fought througout the night to save the buildings and to prevent the spread to its neighbours.

“My family and I will ensure that no one at Platinum will loose their livelihood, we will work hard to get back on our feet,” read the statement, presumably from the top management of the company.

Ramco receives acquisition approval

The massive fire comes shortly after Ramco Plexus, the investment holding company for printing and packaging business under conglomerate Ramco Group, received regulatory approval to buy out Platinum Packaging in a transaction that sources estimated at about KSh. 500 million (US$4.25 million).

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) allowed Ramco Plexus to buy out the 50 percent stake held by Carton Manufacturers in the packaging and labeling firm. 

Ramco Group and Carton Manufacturers owned Platinum Packaging on a 50/50 basis before the deal.

Ramco Plexus oversees operations in more than a dozen subsidiaries dealing in the printing and packaging business under the Ramco Group stable.

Liked this article? Subscribe to our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s packaging and printing industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.