Pactiv Corp. is selling its protective packaging and European-based flexible packaging businesses to a New York investment firm.
An affiliate of AEA Investors LLC will pay about $530 million for the operations, plus assume some liabilities. The units are based in Europe but include some protective packaging sites in North America. The businesses recorded sales of $838 million last year and employ about 4,500, said a source close to the acquisition. The sale includes more than 30 plants, including a protective-packaging design center in Buffalo Grove, Ill., the source said.
Pactiv, based in Lake Forest, Ill., will retain its Asian protective and flexibles operations and its molded-fiber business that had been part of that business segment, said spokeswoman Lisa Foss. The company decided to spin off the other operations to focus on consumer and food packaging.
Combined, the units being sold are considered the No. 2 player worldwide in protective packaging - Sealed Air Corp. is No. 1 - with annual sales of about $560 million, the source said. Products include sheet foams, air-encapsulated bubble cushioning and padded mailer envelopes.
The European flexibles business also makes specialty products such as liners for disposable diapers, sleeves for bottles, polypropylene medical bags, stand-up pouches and food-service packaging.
James Morris, senior vice president and general manager of Pactiv's protective and flexible packaging, will become chief executive officer of the new company. The deal is to close in the third quarter.
AEA also owns rigid-packaging distributor TricorBraun. Last year, the investment firm sold compounder and resin supplier Noveon Inc. to Lubrizol Corp.