It's good to be in packaging these days. More precisely, it's good to be in packaging and decide to sell or merge.
Last year was a record level of merger and acquisition activity in the packaging sector, including plastic packaging, according to Mesirow Financial.
Overall deal volume hit $29.9 billion last year, up from $21.7 billion in 2013, the Chicago-based financial advisor said. Total volume in 2012 was $18.4 billion.
Last year's total also eclipsed a previous post-recession deal volume high of $28.4 billion in 2011, Mesirow reported.
While lots of deals are getting done, they also are for valuations not seen in several years.
The average multiple for packaging transactions was 7.4 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2014. That multiple was 6.8 just the year before and 7.0 in 2012, Mesirow reported.
“Those that elect to sell are realizing what appear to be peak valuations. It is hard to imagine a better set of circumstances for value maximization,” the company said in its January edition of Packaging Perspectives.