Jean-Pascal Bobst’s profession of faith

It is a profession of faith made by Jean-Pascal Bobst, the boss of the Vaudois multinational of the same name. His desire is for the company, world leader in packaging and labeling, to remain, on the one hand, in the family fold and, on the other hand, to pursue its mission of maintaining industrial activity in Switzerland. .

The decision to privatize the company 100% by buying back the 47% of shares held by other shareholders is a bold gamble. Above all, it goes in the opposite direction to that adopted by many family businesses when, inevitably, the question of succession arises.

In April 2019, the Vaud company Rüeger, specialist in precision measuring instruments, was sold to the American Ashcroft, the Rüeger brothers not wanting to continue the adventure. More recently, Geneva-based perfumer Firmenich announced its merger with Dutch nutrition giant DSM.

The Bobst family is daring. She believes in the future of the company, while the environment is bleak. The recession seems unstoppable. The war continues in Ukraine, and everything indicates that it will be long. The price of energy is rising. Supply chains don’t work. During the past six months, the company was unable to honor all of its orders. And what’s more, the competition is fierce. In the very words of Jean-Pascal Bobst, “above all we have uncertainty”.

So why bother in these circumstances? Observer of the Vaudois group, Mark Diethelm (Vontobel) provides a detailed analysis. According to him, Jean-Pascal Bobst is taking advantage of the economic slowdown to offer a low share price. At 78 francs, it is certainly 22% higher than the average for the past four years, but there is nothing spectacular about it.

Above all, Jean-Pascal Bobst is also betting on the future. Even if the recession materializes and drops the demand for packaging machinery, it won’t last forever. And then the need to package goods of all kinds, even in lean times, will always be relevant.

He also places his trust in the investments already made in Bobst Connect, an all-in-one digital platform that strengthens and improves labeling and packaging operations. Now in fact, services are bringing in more and more and more than machine sales. Obviously, Jean-Pascal Bobst also relies on his business flair.

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