"Seidler’s non-control investment philosophy paired with their ability to partner for the long term ticked all of the boxes that were important to me."
Michael Schmaedeke
Founder and CEO

Meet the Founder

Michael Schmaedeke

Minority partnership
Flexible time horizon
Debt-free transaction
Team and culture development
M&A growth
Q & A

How did the AYVA Packaging story begin?

The business was founded in Sydney in 1983 and started out as a family tooling operation called Ayers. When I was 19, my father became ill, and I stepped in, initially as a temporary job, to help my mother find a buyer. However, after working in the business and seeing how underserved the local Australian market was, as well as the amount of whitespace growth ahead, I decided to buy the business myself in 2001. By 2007, the business had grown eight-fold.

Q & A

What were the early growth days like?

When I started, it was a small company. We had a staff of seven people, and our key technician soon left us because he was worried about the future of the business when my dad stopped coming in. So, I had to learn a lot very quickly: how production works, how a mould is built, how to run the machines, how to adjust production, how to change moulds, etc. Plus, I had to get to know our customers and the market as a whole. We were doing very well by 2007, but then came the financial crisis, which set us back a little bit. But opportunity came with the challenge – we started to produce pail products in 2009, which is the start of the AYVA Packaging business. Today, we are now dedicated exclusively to packaging products and anything in the packaging field. We’re almost 50 times bigger than when we started in 2001. We now have factories in two locations and warehouses in four states.

Q & A

Why did you partner with Seidler?

I had been aggressively reinvesting for growth for nearly two decades when the Seidler team reached out for a conversation. I wasn’t ready to bring on a capital partner just yet, but I knew what my selection criteria would be. Seidler’s non-control investment philosophy paired with their ability to partner for the long term ticked all the boxes that were important to me. After nearly two years of getting to know Seidler, the market opportunity was right to bring the Seidler team on board for the next phase of AYVA’s growth journey. In the handshake deal we struck, I retained majority control of the business, and gained an aligned partner to enable the bright future I saw ahead for my business.

Q & A

What has the partnership accomplished?

Having gotten to know the Seidler team for multiple years before taking on the formal investment, we were able to leverage the strong relationship we had built to make a tangible difference from day one. Shortly after the partnership closed, the business invested into a new headquarters that tripled our existing production capacity, made several transformational hires to bolster my leadership team, and expanded into new capabilities and product channels to better serve our loyal customers. Inviting Seidler into the ownership has been a great result for my business, and I look forward to executing on our shared growth vision over the next leg of AYVA’s journey.