Founded in 1925 by Georg Karl, the company originally manufactured brushes for a wide range of uses. The first items for the cosmetics industry were produced in the 1960s, a strategic focus on small, high-quality brushes and packaging for decorative cosmetics products emerged in the 1980s. Today GEKA is a market leader in design and production of packaging and applicators for products such as mascara or nail polish, working with many international cosmetics manufacturers.
At the end of the 1990s, the company’s growth opportunities were related to internationalisation. To meet the demands of ever shorter product cycles in the cosmetics industry, procurement, production and distribution had to be adapted. In 1999 Halder and management acquired the business from the family owners and an investor with Halder taking 90% of the shares.
GEKA implemented its expansion plans successfully and thanks to improved production facilities – including a new factory opened in 2004 – it increased productivity and achieved economics of scale in procurement from growing sales volumes.
Halder exited in 2004 by selling its stake to financial investor Equita who continued to support the company’s growth until 2007. As GEKA’s expansion continued, Halder returned to take another majority holding in 2007, providing management with an opportunity to increase its shareholding.
In 2011 GEKA had sales of € 106 (€ 100) million from clients including Avon, Procter & Gamble and Chanel. Leveraging innovative technology for integrated injection-moulding of plactics components from two separate raw materials (Moltrusion®) was a key driver of growth, establishing production facilities near Chicago, a centre of the US’s plastics industry, was another important factor: local production capability in the world’s largest cosmetics market has increased GEKA’s client and sales base significantly.
In 2011 GEKA started operations of its first filling line. Client benefits of the deeper supply chain include less complexity and faster production throughput as GEKA now offers products ready for shipping to the POS. Halder sold its shareholding to 3i in 2012.