Dart buying Solo Cup for $1 billion

Lorene Yue

Published: March 21, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Mergers & Acquisitions, Thermoforming

MASON, MICH. (March 21, 10 p.m. ET) — Solo Cup Co. of Lake Forest, Ill., announced today that it is being purchased by Dart Container Corp.

Solo and Mason, Mich.-based Dart said they have an agreement for Solo to be sold in a $1 billion transaction. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close in the third quarter. Dart is the country's largest maker of foam cups.

Robert Korzenski, Solo's chief executive officer, said in a news release that he believes he ss "putting the company in the right hands to succeed and grow going forward."

The company has been struggling financially ever since it bought competitor Sweetheart in 2004 for $917.2 million. Solo was unable to efficiently integrate the two companies and combined with an economic downturn, began to experience consecutive quarters of losses.

In 2007, Solo sold a portion of the firm to New York-based Vestar Capital Partners IV LP. Vestar Capital had helped finance Solo's Sweetheart deal. Founder Leo Hulseman still maintains majority control of the papergoods and container manufacturer.

Since then the company has closed several plants and trimmed more than 1,000 jobs.

Dart CEO Robert Dart said in the release that because his firm is privately held, it can take the time needed "to integrate Solo in a thoughtful, analytical manner to ensure lasting success."

Dart's foam beverage cup business took a potential blow today when McDonald’s Corp. said it might have found a replacement for polystyrene foam.

About 2,000 of the company’s restaurants, mostly West Coast operations, will be testing a double-walled fiber hot cup in an attempt to phase out the usually landfill-bound foam cups. McDonald’s said the objective is to assess customer acceptance, operational impact and overall performance.

In addition to foam cups, Solo and Dart are also major thermoformers of foodservice products, including drink cups. Solo is the No. 2 thermoformer in North America, with estimated related sales of $790 million, according to Plastics News' most recent ranking. The company had total corporate sales of $1.582.9 million.

Dart was the No. 3 thermoformer in the ranking, with estimated relevant sales of $480 million. The company has total corporate sales of $1.455 million.

Even the combination of Solo and Dart will be smaller than the No. 1 thermoformer, Lake Forest-based Pactiv Foodservice, with estimated sales of $3.2 billion.

Lorene Yue of Crain's Chicago Business and Don Loepp of Plastics News contributed to this report.


Comments

Dart buying Solo Cup for $1 billion

Lorene Yue

Published: March 21, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Investment firm buys Ontario cap molder

October 23, 2014 2:01 pm ET

A company whose varied interests include food and refrigerated transportation businesses is now moving into plastic caps.    More

Image

Bemis reports record quarterly profit

October 23, 2014 1:06 pm ET

Bemis Company Inc. saw record per-share earnings from continuing operations during the third quarter, but charges associated with the divestiture of...    More

Image

Packaging specialist Amcor hits sustainability goals ahead of schedule

October 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Global packaging company Amcor Ltd. has achieved its waste reduction goals two years ahead of schedule, according to the company's new sustainability ...    More

Image

Report: Private equity companies may seek to buy Bayer MaterialScience

October 23, 2014 10:56 am ET

A number of investment groups are reported to be interested buying Bayer AG's MaterialScience operation, valued at around 10 billion euros ($12.6...    More

Image

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events