BOSSES at a Burnley packaging company are targeting further growth after being officially taken over by a US industry giant.

The announcement for Learoyd Packaging, which will now form part of the Chicago-based Coveris group, is a remarkable turn-around for the Netherwood Road firm.

Just over a decade ago the company was the subject of a £1.5milion management buyout after the API Group, headquartered in Macclesfield, lost interest in the-then loss-maker.

But with the workforce improving from 128 to around 180 staff, and a series of inward investments, the future is brighter for the East Lancashire venture, which was first established in 1976 and now has a turnover of £20million.

Their client list now includes Persil, Tesco, Costa, Seabrook Crisps and Warburtons, alongside Marks and Spencer and Waitrose.

Allan Ferguson, managing director at Learoyd, said: “Over recent years, we have invested in the long-term growth of the company to develop a state of the art facility with extensive design capabilities as well as training and development for our staff.

“The backing of Coveris will enable us to deliver accelerated growth in a market which offers considerable expansion and cross-selling opportunities both in the UK and internationally.”

Corporate financiers have pointed at Learoyd’s 10 per cent year-on-year growth and investment record as motivation for the takeover.

Mark Lapping, president of Coveris’ UK food and consumer division, said: “Learoyd has built an enviable market reputation for flexible packaging through its innovative culture, focus on best practice and strong management team.

“Through our aligned capabilities in flexographic print, Coveris’ investment in Learoyd will offer our customers greater access to first-class technology and an extensive knowledge base.”