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The Paper Straw Co

Hoffmaster Group, Inc.® Acquires The Paper Straw Co, Expands Global Footprint Hoffmaster and The Paper Straw Co bringing the strongest paper straws available to the European market

Manchester UK, (May 1, 2019) – Hoffmaster Group, Inc. ®, a leading U.S. manufacturer of premium disposable tableware, announces the acquisition of Manchester, England-based The Paper Straw Co, the U.K.’s first paper straw manufacturer. This agreement increases Hoffmaster’s ability to service the U.K. and European markets in an efficient and effective manner.

Co-Founders Geert Pijper and Ilesh Mawji launched The Paper Straw Co in April 2018 in response to the growing demand for environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastic straws. In 2018, the U.K. and the European Union announced its ban of single-use plastics, including straws, which would go into effect by 2021. The Paper Straw Co provides U.K. and European customers with the opportunity to purchase paper straws made locally.

“At The Paper Straw Co, we manufacture sturdy paper straws made up of certified raw materials. Rather than shipping them thousands of miles away, which would reduce their environmental credentials, we serve local customers in our own backyard,” said Pijper. “Joining Hoffmaster presents excellent opportunities for our business. Hoffmaster’s 75+ years of experience in the foodservice industry has given them the necessary expertise, equipment and resources to ensure that our customers will continue to receive exceptional service and the highest quality products on the market.”

Hoffmaster also operates Aardvark Straws, the world’s leading paper straw manufacturer based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and its own line of paper straws. The Paper Straw Co will remain under the same banner. Pijper and Mawji will continue to run the business, while all employees will continue to work for the company in Manchester. This acquisition will provide both Hoffmaster and The Paper Straw Co with the ability to better serve their European customers by increasing the U.K.’s manufacturing capacity and production of paper straws. In order to produce the best quality straws in the U.K., Hoffmaster will apply the same methodology that are used for Aardvark Straws, often referred to as the strongest paper straws on the market, to The Paper Straw Co straws.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with The Paper Straw Co team to progress in our mission to solve our world’s plastic pollution crisis and serve as a reliable supply source for European businesses, restaurants, and venues seeking durable paper straws,” said Andy Romjue, president of Hoffmaster’s Foodservice Division. “This acquisition is a strategic and important addition to the portfolio of Hoffmaster brands. It expands our global footprint into the U.K. and also allows us to reach our international customers conveniently while improving our customer service experience.”

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, with statistics showing that there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish, by volume, by 2050. Restaurants, venues, and establishments worldwide are working to combat plastic pollution by switching from plastic to paper straws.

To learn more about Hoffmaster, visit www.hoffmaster.com. To learn more about The Paper Straw Co, visit www.thepaperstraw.co.

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This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Such statements are based on management’s current reasonable and good faith expectations.

ABOUT HOFFMASTER® Hoffmaster® is a one-stop source offering a complete line of premium disposable paper tableware items for restaurants, hospitals, and a wide variety of other service industries. The Company, established in 1947, is the platform company for the Hoffmaster Group, Inc. ® Foodservice Division. Hoffmaster is currently owned by Wellspring Capital Management.

ABOUT THE PAPER STRAW CO® The Paper Straw Co was founded in April 2018 and is a startup business focused on the manufacturing of paper straws in the Manchester area, with the combined knowledge between the partners of the paper industry, machinery industry and U.K. manufacturing. The Paper Straw Co is the original manufacturer of paper straws in the U.K.

ABOUT AARDVARK® STRAWS Aardvark paper straws were introduced in 2007 in response to a growing anti-plastic movement. Precision Products Group, Inc., created an environmentally friendly straw based off of the original paper straw invented in 1888 by Marvin Stone. Today, Aardvark offers printed straws, cake pop sticks and Eco-Flex paper straws that are earth and marine friendly, naturally degradable, FDA/EU compliant, compostable and made in the USA. For more information, visit www.aardvarkstraws.com.