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Carlyle Group buys packaging company Chesapeake Ltd.

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July 8, 2013

Packaging manufacturer Chesapeake Ltd. has been purchased by Washington-based private equity firm Carlyle Group.

Chesapeake, headquartered in Nottingham, England, specializes in value-added paper packaging products and systems for the pharmaceutical, confectionary and premium drinks market.

The company has plastics operations as well. Its specialty chemical packaging division makes blow molded bottles, containers and preforms from PET and both conventional and fluorinated high density polyethylene.

The purchase will enable Chesapeake to continue growing and developing its business, as well as to allow the company to “to respond effectively to new business opportunities as we look to further align our business with our customers’ global requirements,” said Mike Cheetham, CEO of Chesapeake, in a news release.

Carlyle plans to further develop Chesapeake’s international footprint and “invest in delivering industry leading products and services,” according to the release.

Chesapeake had sales of 580 million euros ($746 million) in 2012.

Chesapeake has 37 plants across nine countries, including 5 facilities in the United States. The company has about 5,000 employees.

Chesapeake was purchased by private equity firm Irving Place Capital and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management in May 2009. The sale moved Chesapeake from a publicly traded company based in the United States to a private, independent company headquartered in Europe.

During that time, Chesapeake made investments to expand capacity and enhance manufacturing, and completed three add-on acquisitions, according to a news release from Irving Place.

Carlyle funded its purchased through Carlyle Europe Partners III LP, a 5.3 billion euro fund that makes mid- and large-cap investments. Terms were not disclosed.