Bosch Group will seek a buyer for its packaging machinery division, including its food and pharmaceutical packaging unit.

In a press release translated from German, the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer said it has not identified any "sufficiently entrepreneurial and technologically relevant" synergies that might contribute to future growth, noting that, as a result, it is not part of the company’s core business.

Bosch also said the company operates in a competitive environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises are at a structural advantage. The company adds that its packaging technology operations need to be “on a different footing” to react more flexibly to specific requirements of the packaging machinery market. 

The company’s special-purpose machinery manufacturer Robert Bosch Manufacturing Solutions GmbH is a separate entity and will remain part of the Bosch Group.

“This decision will allow Bosch to narrow its focus on issues of importance for its future, such as the transformation of the Bosch Group and its future digitalization strategy, including the Internet of Things, and to pool its resources accordingly,” says Stefan Hartung, Bosch board of management member responsible for energy, building technology and industrial technology business sectors.

Bosch said the past two fiscal years were difficult for certain units within the food and pharmaceutical division. Under new management, however, many units are now in position to serve the growing market. In the years ahead, Bosch expects to see increasing demand. The food unit has strengthened its core areas and intends to further expand its market position.

“We’re one of the biggest companies in our industry, and the path we have chosen is clearly the right one,” said Stefan König, chairman of the managing board of Robert Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH. “We will stay together as a strong and stable unit. Under new ownership as well, our tried and tested team will continue to provide our customers with excellent manufacturing solutions and services. (The food and pharmaceutical division) has always led a largely independent existence within the Bosch Group, and will in the future be able to respond even better to the requirements of the packaging industry. Our customers will benefit from this.”

The division currently employs 6,100 associates in its global packaging technology operations. Bosch’s aim is for all its associates and locations to be retained by the eventual buyer.