Loews buying Consolidated Container in US

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Consolidated Container Co. is being sold by one financial powerhouse to another in a $1.2bn (€1.1bn) deal that’s expected to serve as a springboard for growth for the new owner.

Bain Capital Private Equity is selling the Atlanta, US-based rigid container maker, with nearly 60 locations, to Loews Corp.

CCC makes packaging for markets including beverage, food and household chemicals.

Loews, controlled by the well-known Tisch family out of New York, likes the stability of packaging and created Loews Packaging Group to delve into the business.

“We have been analyzing the packaging industry for some time because it fits our key acquisition criteria: It’s a fragmented industry that generates strong cash flows and we believe it is unlikely to be subject to major technological disruption,” Loews CEO James Tisch said in a statement. “CCC is an outstanding company with a highly professional management team that can serve as a platform for growth, both organically and through acquisitions.”

Bain Capital is a Boston-based investment firm that acquired CCC in 2012 for $800m (€751m) from Vestar Capital Partners. CCC, itself, grew out of Vestar’s purchase of Reid Plastics Inc. and the packaging group of Suiza Foods Corp. to become a big player in the blow moulding business.

CCC, since being purchased by Bain, has added to the company through acquisitions, including a 2014 deal for plastic recycler Envision Recycling Group, the second-largest high density polyethylene recycler in North America.

And it was just late last year that he company acquired the assets of Bottles Unlimited Inc. of Denver, a beverage container maker. CCC also acquired Semopac of Longueuil, Quebec, which primarily makes 3- and 5-gallon polycarbonate water bottles for home and office use, in 2016.

CCC is the seventh-largest blow moulder in North America with estimated annual sales of $820m (€770m), according to the latest Plastics News ranking.

Sean Fallman became CEO of the company in 2014.

“I have every confidence that Loews will be an excellent partner for CCC as we continue to invest in differentiated capabilities to best serve our customers,” he said in a statement.

Bain is a giant investment firm with some $75bn in assets and was co-founded in 1984 by former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Loews has three publicly traded subsidiaries: CNA Financial Corp., Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. It also owns Loews Hotels & Co.

Loews is using about 50% cash and 50% debt to finance the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter.

“CCC will serve as a robust growth platform for Loews in the packaging industry,” the company said.


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