Press release
10 Sep 2007, 10:00 CET

Billerud and design firm No Picnic form new company

Develop packaging from first concept to store shelf in half the time

Nine is a consulting company specialising in the entire chain from new product concept to the packaged item in the store. Today it takes around one to two years for a food producer to get a new product onto the store shelves. By gathering expertise in material selection, packaging, design, brand promotion and logistics within one company, the development time from idea to shelf can be cut to 6-8 months.

Nine TPP, Total Packaging Partner, AB is a venture led by Billerud and No Picnic, one of Scandinavia’s leading design firms. The jointly owned subsidiary is the result of a long period of co-operation during which entirely new product concepts have been developed for pasta, confectionery, potato crisps and other food.

Billerud has specialist know how in material selection, machinery and production optimisation. No Picnic specialises in design, trends and consumer behaviour. Putting the two areas of expertise together means that Nine has all the skills required to launch a new product.

“More and more businesses have learnt that product development and packaging development are not parallel processes – they are in fact integrated. The companies that understand this will discover significant benefits from working with Nine,” explains Jon Haag, CEO at Nine.

Nine’s business concept is that a brand owner only needs to assign a single partner to package a new food product, for example, or a new hygiene item or non-prescription drug. Nine aims to be first choice for customers whether they are launching a new product that requires a changed packaging line, are looking for smarter in-store handling or just want a new design.

“Our ambition for Billerud is to sell more than pulp and paper. As we have said before, we aim to develop our business. Analysis of the value chain for packaged food has shown obvious areas for improvement. With Nine we can use our expertise to shorten development cycles for food producers. That makes everyone a winner,” says Per Lindberg, President and CEO of Billerud.

The name, Nine, comes from the nine stages of development that run from new product concept to packaged product on the store shelf.

The new company will not have any impact on earnings for Billerud in 2007.

Stockholm, 10 September 2007
Billerud AB (publ)

Per Lindberg
President and CEO