A family business has been bought by a German company in a multi-million-pound deal, it has been announced.

Star Tissue UK, based in Mill Hill has been acquired by the WEPA Group. The company, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023, had been in talks with WEPA over the acquisition for a number of months.

Star Tissue UK employs 130 staff and there are not expected to be any changes to the workforce at the site.

The buyout figure has not been disclosed but it is believed to be in the tens of millions. The new company will operate under the name of WEPA Professional UK.

The WEPA Group, which is also family owned, has its company headquarters in Arnsberg-Müschede, near Dortmund, and employs 4,000 staff and has a turnover of 1.6 billion Euros (£1.3bn).

It is said to be the third largest manufacturer of hygiene paper on the continent. 

The company has a 25 per cent market share in Germany and eight per cent of the market in Europe.

In the UK it is headquartered in Bolton and has sites in Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Netherlands.

Workers at Star Tissue site heard from the new owners in a special presentation, where they were also told of the ‘values and respect’ they had as a family company and plans to further grow the business.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff at the Star Tissue UK site during a presentation by the new owners

Present managing director of Star Tissue UK, Khalid Saifullah, will remain in his role.

He said: “In WEPA Professional we have found a partner that shares our values and stands for a high-quality products and first-class service.”

Chief executive of the professional business unit at the WEPA Group, Andreas Krengel, said: “WEPA stands for the production of high-quality tissue and the UK market is strategically important for us.

“We are delighted to continue the impressive growth of Star Tissue with managing director, Khalid Saifullah and his team as WEPA Professional UK.”

In a joint statement the companies said: “Both WEPA and Star Tissue UK are committed to a seamless transition, maintaining operations and retaining the current workforce.

"The acquisition sets the stage for a successful collaboration, combining strength of both companies for the benefit of customers, employees and the overall industry.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

A Blackburn success story

Star Tissue UK was established in 2003 and went on to become of one of the leading manufacturers of hygiene paper products and toilet rolls in the country. 

The company was launched by the late Allah Ditta, who had decades of experience in the paper industry, alongside his sons, Abid and Sajid.

Later, Khalid joined the company and is presently the managing director. 

The business began in a small unit in Blackburn and in 2011 relocated to the current site off Stancliffe Street.

The site was later expanded to cover more than six acres of land, and automated production lines were installed alongside new office facilities for the growing workforce.

The company has the capacity to convert 27,000 tonnes of tissue per annum and produce more than one million rolls per day, exporting to across the UK and Ireland.

Over the past decade the company has showcased its own ‘Sirius’ brands and also featured in a number of trade magazines and international tissue exhibitions.