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Pretium Packaging getting a new owner, plans for acquisitions

By: Michael Lauzon

May 1, 2014

Blow molded container major Pretium Packaging LLC sees acquisition in the cards under a new owner.

Private equity company Genstar Capital LLC announced May 1 that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pretium from Castle Harlan Inc. Genstar expects the deal to close in June.

Pretium likely will report major terms of the deal in its next filing of a quarterly report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pretium of Chesterfield, Mo., makes rigid plastic containers and closures for food and specialty beverage, private label, pharmaceutical, personal care and household and industrial sectors. It ranked 17th largest among North America’s blow molders in Plastics News recent survey of players in the market with estimated sales of $235 million for its most recent fiscal year. Pretium was established in 1992.

Pretium employs more than 1,000 at nine U.S. plants and one in Canada. Its supplies more than 650 customers.

“Genstar has a long history of aggressively supporting businesses,” said CEO George Abd in a phone interview. “They focus on organic and acquisition growth. [Pretium hasn’t] made any acquisitions in four years. Genstar will invest capital in the business.”

Genstar and Pretium’s management will pursue acquisitions and invest in strategic initiatives, stated Genstar packaging investment leader David Golde in a news release.

“We are attracted to Pretium’s long-standing commitment to innovation, customer service and manufacturing excellence that have created strong customer relationships and provide the runway for continued growth,” noted Golde.

Abd said Pretium provides highly customized packaging solutions, and the company plans to expand product capabilities, enter new markets and geographies, and build on existing business.

Genstar’s portfolio of companies includes firms producing medical devices and industrial fasteners and springs. It owns several companies with diverse activities in healthcare and also invests in software and financial services. It currently has no packaging company in its profile, but it used to own label supplier Fort Dearborn Co. San Francisco-based Genstar has more than $3 billion of committed capital under its management.

New York private equity company Castle Harlan bought Pretium in 2010. Pretium subsequently bought PVC Container Corp., the parent of blow molder Novapac Corp., and Castle Harlan merged the two companies.

Castle Harlan Co-President Bill Pruellage said in a news release that Pretium is poised for continued growth after meeting strategic and operational goals under Castle Harlan’s ownership.

Abd said in the past four years Pretium expanded its technology by leveraging Novapac’s expertise in PET preforms and bottles. While Pretium put more emphasis on PET containers, it cut costs by reducing its stake in selling PET preforms into the marketplace. In October it closed Novapac’s former Pointe Claire, Quebec, plant which mainly made PET preforms.

“It was a good marriage,” Abd said in recalling the merger with Novapac.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. acted as financial advisor to Pretium and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP was its legal advisor. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP was legal advisor to Genstar.