JOB opportunities at a Worcestershire tissue company are coming after it was bought up by an Italian firm.

Essential Supply Products Ltd, based at Blackmore Park in Hanley Swan, has been acquired by Lucart S.p.A. part of the Lucart Group, which is based in the Italian City of Lucca.

As part of the acquisition, Lucart has said there will be "future employment opportunities" at ESP, which currently employs 85 people on its five processing lines.

Carl Theakston, Essential Supply Products’ founder, said: "We have done deals over the years to enable us to compete at the highest level.

"However, the standard of investment required to make my ambitions for this company a reality needed an investor who shared our values and desire to grow the company sustainably and to its full potential.

"Lucart is a family-owned multinational company that has operated for almost 70 years.

"Its history, vision and commitment to sustainable development make it the ideal investor to ensure Essential Supply Products’ adventure continues now and for longer-term."

Founded in 1990, Essential Supply Products makes toilet tissue, centrefeed, roll and hand towels, industrial floor stand and hygiene rolls for cleaning, hotel, restaurant, facilities management, catering, industrial and healthcare sectors.

Committed to investing over the coming years, Lucart said there will be future employment opportunities for workers at the Malvern-based plant.

The relationship between Lucart and ESP goes back over ten years as some of the paper processed at the Malvern site comes from the Lucart mills in Italy.

Massimo Pasquini, Lucart’s CEO, said the deal is an important step for the future development of the Lucart Group.

He added: "Essential Supply Products’ position, market and product range bring important synergies to other parts of the Lucart Group and as the second largest market for tissue paper products, this strategic acquisition will allow us to grow our presence in Great Britain.

"We have overcome the uncertainties generated by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Completing this important further step for the future development of the Lucart Group."

Lucart is a leading company in Europe in the production of MG paper, tissue products (paper items for daily use such as toilet paper, kitchen paper, napkins, tablecloths and handkerchiefs) and airlaid products.

Founded in 1953 by the Pasquini Family in Italy, Lucart operates in the Business to Business, Away from Home and Consumer markets.

The company employs 1,600 employees across nine production plants (five in Italy, two in Spain and one in France and Hungary) and has a logistics centre in Italy.

Lucart produces more than 395,000 tonnes of paper per year, from 12 paper machines and turnover for the Group exceeds €500m.