Leading rigid plastic film maker KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast GmbH & Co. is gaining a new owner, as Blackstone Group announced May 3 that its London-based affiliate had agreed to acquire the company for $1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
Blackstone is purchasing the company from Cinven Ltd., a private equity firm in London, and its minority partner, JP Morgan Partners LLC of New York. They had acquired KP in 2001.
The deal is subject to approval by various regulatory authorities, which is expected by June.
``We will continue to support KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast's aggressive growth and investment strategy,'' said Lionel Assant, Blackstone managing director, in a news release.
The statement also said the KlÃ¶ckner management will remain in place.
The company makes film for pharmaceutical, medical-device, food and electronic products, and thermoformed packaging. It also does printing and specialty applications.
KlÃ¶ckner Pentaplast was founded in 1965 in Montabaur, Germany. It now has 21 manufacturing sites in 11 countries.
The firm's commitment remains the same, according to Nancy Ryan, global communications manager at KlÃ¶ckner. She said plans are moving forward. The firm recently completed an expansion in Thailand, and a new coating and laminating line in Brazil will begin operating later this year. New equipment for sites in the U.S. and Europe is being installed or is on order. Lastly, expansion plans in Asia are under way.
Cinven said it had worked with KlÃ¶ckner management to improve business by expanding into new territories and broadening its product base. The company's sales have grown from $833 million euros ($1.1 billion) in 2001 to $1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in 2006. The number of employees has grown to 3,400 from 3,100.
``We have expanded KP's business into new markets through organic growth and by seven strategic acquisitions, particularly in Asia and South America. With our knowledge of the packaging industry we were well-positioned to advance the regional expansion, as well as the extension of KP's product range,'' Cinven partner Peter Gangsted said in a news release.
``The company has now established a much stronger competitive position as the world's leading producer of rigid plastic films, which is opening up further opportunities.''
Blackstone has invested in more than 100 firms since 1987 and listed the total enterprise value of its transactions through June 30 at more than $158 billion.
Blackstone's current holdings include German chemical maker Celanese AG and Graham Packaging Co. LP of York, Pa.