Graphic Packaging Holding Company to Acquire UK-based Benson Group

"The acquisition broadens our Food and Consumer Products offerings and extends our reach into the Store Brand segment." – David Scheible, Chairman, President and CEO, Graphic Packaging.

Feb. 19, 2014 - Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK) today announced that a European subsidiary has agreed to acquire Benson Group, a leading food and healthcare packaging company based in the U.K.

Under the terms of the deal, the purchase price equates to approximately $165 million. The transaction will be funded with existing cash and borrowings from the Company's current revolving line of credit, GPK said.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Acquisition enhances Graphic Packaging's European platform by broadening its offerings in Food and Consumer Products and extending the business into the Store Brand Market
  • Combination creates a $700+ million business in Europe
  • Acquisition complements Graphic Packaging's existing Food and Beverage business in Europe and provides an opportunity to further integrate our Coated Unbleached Kraft (SUS™) paperboard
  • Expected to generate $5-$7 million of synergies over the next 18 months
  • Benson Group had trailing twelve month sales of approximately $200 million and EBITDA of nearly $25 million

"We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Benson Group," said David Scheible, Graphic Packaging's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe Benson Group fits perfectly with our strategy in Europe. The acquisition broadens our Food and Consumer Products offerings and extends our reach into the Store Brand segment.

"The combination of Benson Group and our existing European businesses is expected to greatly enhance our folding carton business in Europe, with sales in excess of $700 million. This combination also allows us to broaden our customer base and to offer our current global customers a wider range of new products and services.

"Like our strategy in the United States, we are committed to growing our European business around food and beverage end markets and optimizing our supply chain footprint around our customers' needs," Scheible said.

The Benson Group operates four folding carton facilities in the U.K. that convert approximately 80,000 tons of paperboard annually.

The acquisition is subject to standard closing requirements and is expected to close in the second quarter.

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading provider of packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. The Company is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and holds a leading market position in coated-unbleached kraft, coated-recycled boxboard and specialty packaging. To learn more, please visit: www.graphicpkg.com.

SOURCE: Graphic Packaging Holding Company