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Investment firms buy specialty packaging company S.I. Manufacturing

By: Michael Lauzon

January 29, 2013

WAUKEGAN, ILL. -- Two private investment firms have bought specialty packaging producer S.I. Jacobson Manufacturing Co. effective Dec. 31.

Albion Investors LLC of New York and Isleworth Capital Partners LLC of Schaumburg, Ill., acquired Waukegan, Ill.-based Jacobson, which formerly was family owned, for undisclosed terms. Mesirow Financial of Chicago was the financial advisor for Jacobson.

Jacobson designs and makes flexible and rigid vinyl packaging, foam cases, die-cut foam inserts and fabric cases for hardware, housewares, automotive, electronics and medical applications. It works with original equipment manufacturers to customize packaging for brand awareness, retail visibility and functionality.

"We have researched the packaging/plastics industry over several years and this particular segment tends to stand out as exceptional in terms of growth potential and also valuation potential," said Ilseworth partner Frank Feraco in an email correspondence. "Jacobson was a clear choice in their particular sector."

"The packaging industry, which is one of our core areas of focus, continues to be highly fragmented with many companies privately owned by families and individuals," explained Mesirow Financial Investment Banking group vice chairman Jeffrey Golman in an email. "This makes them ripe for sale when confronting generational issues. S.I. Jacobson is a good example of a company owned by such a family with professional management and no one from the family actively involved in management."

"[Jacobson] had considerable success with new product development and with new customers and the new owners believe that they can accelerate these efforts," Golman elaborated. "Private equity buyers have and will continue to be active buyers of these businesses which they can grow and consolidate and sell later to other private equity buyers or [strategic investors] down the road."

Mesirow is active in the plastics, paper, packaging and specialty printing sectors and has completed more than 90 transactions in recent years.

"Our customers and employees will both benefit as Isleworth, Albion and S.I. Jacobson join together and continue to grow the company's product offering," said Jacobson President and CEO Larry Futterman in a Jan. 22 news release.