Contego to sell cartons business for 81m to US's Graphic Packaging

Ben Bold
Friday, November 16, 2012

Contego Packaging is selling its food and beverage cartons business to US food specialist Graphic Packaging in a deal worth 81m.

Contego, which changed its name from Nampak in 2011 after Nampak Cartons and Nampak Healthcare were acquired by US investment company Platinum Equity, said it was divesting itself of its food and beverage cartons business to focus on growing its share of the pharmaceutical and healthcare market.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year, will see Georgia-based Graphic Packaging pay £71m in cash to Contego and assume a further £10m in net liabilities.

Contego’s cartons business spans operations in the UK, the Netherlands, and Ireland, with sites in Leeds, Gillingham, Hoogerheide and Portlaiose. 

Graphic Packaging, which said it expects to "generate $8m-10m of synergies over the next two years and be accretive to earnings in the first full year after integration", said the deal would give it a leading position in Europe’s food and consumer products folding cartons market.

Nicholas Mockett, partner at Moorgate Capital, which advised on the disposal, said: "Contego Cartons is a leading player in the European food and spirits segments. Like Graphic Packaging, it has a long list of impressive FMCG brand owners as clientele and will be a natural extension to Graphic Packaging's position as number one in the US."

Contego Cartons generates 12-month sales of approximately $260m and EBITDA of nearly $19m.

David Scheible, Graphic Packaging’s chief executive and president, said: "Contego operates throughout Western Europe with state of the art facilities in the UK and the Netherlands.

"Combining Graphic's current European business focused in the beverage markets with Contego's strong market share position in the European food and consumer products markets will allow us to broaden our customer base and enhance our competitive positioning."

Tom Reid, Contego Packaging’s chief executive, added: "The sale of the cartons business will allow us to focus even more intensively on growth in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors."


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