Marchesini takes full control of long-time partner SEA Vision

Italian packaging machinery specialist Marchesini has acquired SEA Vision, which supplies traceability, data collection and inspection systems for the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics packaging sector.

Marchesini has been a minority shareholder in SEA Vision since 2018, when it took a 48 per cent stake in the company, and since then the companies have been working together on the creation of new systems including a line for printing, inspecting and packing serialised blisters which was launched earlier this year.

The deal is "one of the most significant market operations undertaken by Marchesini Group in its almost fifty years of history," according to a company statement.

Following the closure of the merger, Marchesini chief executive Pietro Cassani will become chair of Pavia-based SEA Vision, while the latter's current CEO – Michele Cei – will retain that role and also join Marchesini's board.

Marchesini said it was determined that the takeover of SEA Vision would not interfere with growth plans at the company, which is predicting turnover of €50m ($) this year.

"SEA Vision Group's entry into the Marchesini Group will enable us to create packaging lines which are even more integrated with vision and inspection systems, to guarantee our customers ever-improving performances and a high degree of personalisation," said Cassani.

The latest acquisition follows separate acquisitions by both companies, tying in with the trend towards consolidation in the sector.

In December 2020, SEA Vision completed the acquisition of artificial intelligence specialist ARGO Vision. Meanwhile, in the last few years Marchesini has snapped up industrial automation specialist Proteo Engineering, Auteco, which focuses on automation, process control and workflow digitalisation, and Eyecan, a Bologna-based startup which has developed Ais to train robotic systems used to speed up packaging cycles.

Cei said that combining with Marchesini "will ensure SEA Vision Group the best conditions for growth on the international markets, and further boost our already strong development ambitions."

He added: "All the projects on which we are hard at work to launch new products with AI techniques, such as line clearance, or in the areas of vision and traceability, will continue with even greater drive. We will also retain our commercial independence – in other words, our identity."

Other M&A deals involving traceability companies in the last few years include Engineering USA's play for Movilitas, Markem-Imaje's buyouts of Blue Bite and Systech, Antares Vision's acquisitions of rfXcel and the assets of Adents after it went into administration, and Optel Vision's takeovers of GeoTraceability and Verify brand.

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