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UPDATE 1-Packaging group Mondi to buy Egypt-based industrial bags maker

(Adds details, CEO comment)

JOHANNESBURG, April 30 (Reuters) - Mondi has agreed to buy a privately-owned industrial bags maker operating in Egypt for 23.7 million euros ($28.75 million) to expand deeper into the Middle East, the South African packaging group said on Monday.

Mondi, which is also listed in London, said it would buy all the shares in National Company for Paper Products and Import & Export S.A.E (NPP) on a debt and cash free-basis.

“The acquisition of NPP complements our network of plants in the growing Middle East region and provides us with a leading position in Egypt to grow our business and better serve our customers,” said Erik Bouts, Mondi’s chief executive of fibre packaging.

Mondi is already a leading producer of industrial bags in the Middle East, operating four plants in the region.

Its bags include those suitable for heavy duty use or rapid filling, as well as for keeping produce fresh.

Mondi has embarked on a 750 million euro project to increase capacity at its paper mills and bolster revenue from 2019 onwards by catering to higher demand in container and corrugated packing and some areas of consumer packaging.

NPP operates one plant in Giza near Cairo serving mostly regional customers. Last year, it generated revenues of 29 million euros and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 5 million euros.

At 0710 GMT, Mondi shares in London were up 0.8 percent.

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