Blackburn-based Accrol is set to be bought by Portuguese paper firm Navigator in a deal worth around £127.5m.

Accrol is one of the biggest suppliers of toilet tissues, kitchen rolls, facial tissues, and wet wipes and supplies to many of the UK's leading discounters and grocery retailers.

Accrol was founded in 1993 by Jawid Hussain and family, of Accrington, and relocated to Blackburn in 1996 and to its present location in 2004. It remained in private family control until 2014 and later floated on the stock exchange.

In the financial year ending April 30, 2023, Accrol posted revenues of £242m.

Chief executive of Accrol, Gareth Jenkins said: "Accrol has undergone a period of significant transformation and growth over the last four years, investing in fully automating its tissue converting operations to enhance manufacturing capabilities.

"I am proud and grateful for the efforts and commitment of our people. We have grown to become a leading manufacturer of private label, own branded and licensed tissue products to the UK market and have developed broad retail relationships and a robust supply model that enables us to produce great quality and value products.

"Combining with the Navigator Group brings together a highly complementary product offering. It will enable Accrol to benefit from the capabilities, scale, network and resources of Navigator, building on the strategic progress we have made to date."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Navigator Paper UK Limited is a subsidiary of The Navigator Company, a large Portuguese integrated pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and biomass-based energy company, listed on the Euronext Lisbon Stock Exchange.

It has a market share of €2.75bn (£2.36bn) as of 21 March 2024 and in the financial year ending 31 December 2023, Navigator reported revenues of €1.9bn (£1.63bn). 
The Navigator Company is ranked seventh worldwide in capacity of production of fine printing and writing paper, processing more than 1.6 million tonnes of paper per year.
The firm now has a total production capacity of 165,000 tonnes of tissue paper and 180,000 tonnes of tissue converting capacity per year generating approximately €293m (£251m) of annual revenue in 2023.

In recent years the company has acquired the tissue consumer business of Spanish Gomà-Camps group as well as its industrial site located in the region of Zaragoza, which has a tissue paper production capacity of 35,000 tons and 55,000 tons of tissue converting capacity. 

Navigator said it sees ‘Accrol as a key pillar in its strategy of sustained expansion of its tissue business in the Western European market.’

The company said: “It will focus on building on Accrol's market position as a trusted reference player in the UK tissue private label market and supporting its growth across all its core product segments.

“It expects Accrol to benefit from Navigator's expertise and experience in operating similar tissue operations, helping to drive efficiency and productivity, as well as benefitting from Navigator's additional balance sheet capacity and access to capital, which provide the ability to support future growth. 

“Combining Accrol's industrial sites, personnel, and client commercial relationships into the Navigator Group has the potential to enhance its performance for the benefit of customers, employees and stakeholders.”

The rise and rise of Accrol

Accrol was founded in 1993 by the Hussain family. The company relocated to Blackburn in 1996 and to its present location in 2004 with a purpose-built 65,000 sq ft factory and warehouse and the installation of new production lines. 

In 2014, Accrol achieved sales of over £100m and its current site had grown to over 350,000 sq ft factory and warehouse space. Accrol remained in private family ownership until 2014, following which private equity investment was introduced into the business leading to London AIM listing in 2016.

In November 2020, Accrol completed its first major acquisition, buying Leicester Tissue Company (LTC) an independent supplier of private-label toilet tissue and kitchen towel. Shortly after in April 2021, Accrol acquired John Dale, a highly scalable, flushable and biodegradable wet wipes business.