The major shareholder of packaging firm Great Pacific Enterprises Inc. has taken the firm private.
Jim Pattison Industries Ltd., which owned about 62 percent of Great Pacific's stock, acquired the rest for about C$105.5 million (US$76.7 million). More than 99.9 percent of minority shareholders accepted Pattison Industries' offer of C$80 (US$58.20) per share, said Nick Desmarais, Great Pacific's corporate secretary.
Great Pacific's shares were trading at about C$63 (US$45.80) before Pattison Industries announced April 24 that it would offer C$80 per share to minority shareholders. It recently closed at C$78.50 (US$57.10) per share. Great Pacific shareholders voted on the offer June 27 and Pattison Industries finalized the firm's privatization July 3, Desmarais said in a telephone interview from Great Pacific's headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Great Pacific's sales last year were US$275.8 million and it made US$14.1 million in profit. The bulk of its sales are in film and sheet, although it also supplies semirigid plastic packaging and other packaging materials. It operates 11 film and sheet plants in the United States and Canada.
The privatization move began several months ago when Lincluden Management Ltd. of Oakville, Ontario, offered to sell its 19.5 percent stake in Great Pacific to Pattison Industries.
Desmarais would not disclose whether Great Pacific's new owner will expand capacity or enter new packaging markets.
Pattison Industries is controlled by Jim Pattison, a well-known western Canadian entrepreneur who controls a C$3.4 billion (US$2.5 billion) conglomerate of companies in broadcasting, auto dealerships, entertainment and other markets. He also recently privatized Westar Group Ltd., a resources development firm based in Vancouver, but failed in his bid to take over BC Sugar Refinery Ltd. Pattison Industries recently opened a $60 million aquarium in Myrtle Beach, N.C., and plans to build one in Toronto.
Great Pacific changed its name from International Innopac Inc. in 1994. Pattison Industries steadily built up its interest in the company over several years after buying a controlling chunk of the money-losing firm in 1990. In the following few years Innopac closed some operations and sold others to improve its financial performance.