A GERMAN packaging company with a UK base in Bradford has announced it will sell 100 per cent of its shares in a merger with a major US firm.

The Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG), headquartered in Hockenheim, is Europe's leading supplier of composite cans, drums, and plastic containers, and has its only UK production site in Royds Hall Drive, off Halifax Road.

The company's associates announced yesterday that the shares will be sold to the Sonoco Products Company, based in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Ralf Weidenhammer, CEO and one of the managing partners at WPG, said the merger offered additional growth prospects for the company with new customers and new markets.

"The decision to sell our shares was not an easy one," he said. “However, we are convinced that the merger is the right step at the right time, and that it will open up new and important future perspectives to WPG and its employees.”

The transition should be completed by October, when WPG plants, sites, subsidiaries and products will become part of Sonoco.