Blow molder Graham Packaging Co. said Nov. 2 that it plans to file an initial public offering.
The York-based company, which is controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, seeks to raise $350 million through the stock offering, which it will use to repay debt.
In the company's third-quarter report, officials noted that in the second quarter Graham signed a letter of intent to sell its wholly owned Graham Emballages Plastiques S.A.S. subsidiary in Meaux, France, to an independent third party for 1 euro.
The agreement has been signed by all parties and the company expects that the deal will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the report.
Graham decided to sell the plant due to the failure of this subsidiary to meet internal financial performance criteria, the report noted.
The company, which currently has debt that is publicly traded, reported sales of 588.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down 10.7 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
Sales in North America dropped $61.7 million, or 11 percent, to $500 million. The drop was due in part to lower resin costs, the company reported.
The market price for PET resin in the U.S. averaged $0.77 per pound in the third quarter of 2009 compared to $0.96 in the third quarter of 2008, according to Graham, and the market price of high density polyethylene averaged $0.69 in the third quarter of 2009 compared to $1.01 in the third quarter of 2008.
Operating income for the quarter increased to $71.6 million, up from $51.4 million for the same quarter a year ago.
In August, Graham canceled a $3.2 billion deal to combine Graham Packaging Holding Co. and Dallas-based Hicks Acquisition Co. Inc., a special-purpose acquisitions group formed by billionaire real estate mogul and professional sports teams owner Tom Hicks. That deal would have resulted in a publicly traded firm named Graham Packaging Co. Inc.
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