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

Optical disc molder OEM getting into micromolding with acquisition of CDA

August 29, 2014 11:24 am ET

Optical disc replicator and molder Optical Experts Manufacturing Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., has expanded its core business and entered new high...    More

Image

Tighter resin prices leading to price hike for PE film

August 29, 2014 11:13 am ET

One of North America's largest film makers is pushing through a polyethylene price increase due, in part, to the tight resin market.    More

Polish injection molder Teknorubber up for sale

August 29, 2014 9:14 am ET

Polish plastic parts maker Teknorubber has been put up for sale following its insolvency filing in March 2014. The company is to be auctioned through ...    More

Image

Pregis, Sealed Air settle film-foam patent dispute out of court

August 28, 2014 1:01 pm ET

A couple of packaging companies are settling their patent fight over film-foam underlayment.    More

Image

Canadian mold maker Thibault adding to new operation in Mexico

August 27, 2014 3:19 pm ET

Canadian mold maker I Thibault Inc has purchased an established Mexican company, Tecnimoldes SA de CV, for a seven-figure-dollar-sum and renamed it Ti...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events