A lot of work awaits Manfred Zaunbauer, head of the Europack company in Edter. He recently acquired a 70-year-old traditional business in the city of Salzburg. The company SPG Verpackungs GmbH, based in Robinigstraße, was on the verge of collapse: “The company belonged to the sisters Gudrun Neubauer and Frigga Hesske, who wanted to retire for reasons of age. Both are over 75, there was no successor in the family who could take over many synergies,” says the entrepreneur.
The Salzburg company is known as a cardboard manufacturer and has so far processed orders in smaller quantities. “The company got stuck in the 1980s. In terms of organization, we have to catch up 40 years in a short time.” The upgrade will cost money, new forces are being sought. While up to 60 people were employed at peak times, there are now only ten employees.
location is retained
The company location in Salzburg is to be retained: “They have some interesting regular customers such as Red Bull and Windhager. They are classic Salzburg companies that have their products manufactured there.”
Zaunbauer wants to promote the production of sustainable packaging: “We are currently experimenting with renewable raw materials. Hemp, grass and straw are used. This is not yet a million dollar market, but these products are very well received at international trade fairs,” emphasizes Zaunbauer.
Europack produces on the site of the former Stapa shoe factory. The company employs more than 20 people there in the high season before Christmas. The annual turnover amounts to four million euros. “We are strong in the field of gift packaging. The growing online trade and the e-commerce sector give us impetus.” The company doesn’t just cut, punch and glue. Europapack, which Zaunbauer founded 23 years ago, also designs and prints the boxes. The Europack boss is optimistic about the future of the new company subsidiary in Salzburg. A doubling of the number of employees is targeted.
In addition to his work as an entrepreneur, Zaunbauer is also politically active: in his home community of Offenhausen he sits on the community board and heads the local SPÖ. As President of the Social Democratic Business Association, he represents the interests of small business owners at state level.